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9/5/2006
05:20 PM
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Matsushita Battery Exchange Doesn't Include U.S. Systems

None of the units in question were shipped to the United States, the company says, so there's no need to exchange anything bought here.

Matsushita's battery exchange program is limited to systems sold in Japan, and none of the units in question were exported to the U.S., said a spokesman for Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, the Secaucus, N.J.-based maker of Toughbooks.

The battery exchange, which the spokesman said is not a recall, is limited to 6,000 units sold in Japan between April and May 2005.

Matsushita's announcement and voluntary action comes weeks following exponentially larger laptop battery recalls enacted by Dell, Round Rock, Tex., and Apple, Cupertino, Calif., which both were supplied with defective battery cells by component maker Sony. Dell's and Apple's recalls were done in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission.

The issue involving the Matsushita laptop batteries does not involve battery cells, but rather tiny metal springs that could come into contact with the battery during jostling, and thus cause overheating, the company said in an earlier statement.

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company is a unit of Panasonic Corp. of North America which, itself, is a subsidiary of Matsushita.

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