100,000 Sony Notebook Batteries To Be Recalled

CNET has just posted a disastrous news item about Sony batteries that will be a big pain in the side, especially in these troubled economic times. Sony and the Consumer Product Safety Commission will announce Thursday afternoon that Sony is supporting the voluntary recall of 100,000 notebook battery packs powered by Sony’s 2.15Ah lithium ion cells.

According to the CPSC, 32,000 Hewlett-Packard notebooks, 3,000 Toshiba, and 150 Dell notebooks are said to be affected. Sony has said that its Vaio notebooks are not included in the recall as they use a different type of battery. HP, Toshiba, and Dell have each set up their own Web sites where customers can fill out a form and receive a replacement battery pack by mail for free.

The 2.15Ah lithium ion battery is also not the same Sony battery involved in the massive 2006 recall, according to the company. This also, so far, appears to be on a much smaller scale than during 2006, when more than 8 million notebook batteries were recalled. Sony says it first received reports of problems with the 2.15Ah batteries in June 2005. Since then, PC manufacturers have received reports of 40 overheating incidents worldwide. Some of the overheating resulted in smoke or flames, leading to some “small burns,” and about half of the incidents included “minor property damage,” according to Sony and the CPSC.

Sony believes the battery problems are isolated to some 2.15Ah batteries manufactured between October 2004 and June 2005.

“Machines settings were adjusted more frequently than usual on one line from October 2004 to June 2005, and we believe that a combination of such adjustments may have affected the quality of cells in certain manufacturing lots, creating the potential for such cells to overheat on rare occasion,” said a Sony spokesperson.

Sony says it has not received any reports of overheating on any of the batteries produced after 2006.

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