Sony Plans Global Battery Replacement Program

The news comes after IBM and Lenovo announced that Sony-made ThinkPad batteries are being recalled.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

October 2, 2006

1 Min Read

Sony had a good gig supplying millions of lithium-ion batteries to most of the major laptop computer makers. That was before its batteries began overheating and, in some cases, catching on fire, to the dismay and horror of laptop users. The company is scrambling to salvage its reputation for quality now that millions of its compact power sources have been recalled.

Sony is planning a global battery replacement program, and it's working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to hammer out the specifics. It plans to unveil details of the program soon: "We believe that this [replacement] program is in the best interests of both our customers and all consumers," the company said in a written statement.

Sony announced the replacement program one day after IBM and Lenovo revealed they were recalling more than half a million battery packs for ThinkPad notebooks equipped with Sony batteries, joining other notebook makers that had similar problems with Sony batteries. Lenovo has received one confirmed report of a battery overheating and causing a fire that damaged a notebook computer in an airport terminal. At the end of last week, Toshiba joined the recall parade, saying it would replace 830,000 Sony-made notebook computer batteries.

Dell in August recalled 4.1 million notebook lithium-ion batteries made by Sony. A few weeks later, Apple Computer said it would recall 1.8 million Sony battery packs, citing similar problems. That brings the total to more than 6 million battery cells made by Sony that have been recalled by various computer makers. Sony's once sterling reputation seems to be going up in smoke.

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