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Japan Joins U.S. In Apple Laptop Probe: Report

Japanese authorities confirmed Tuesday that an Apple laptop has caught fire in Japan and asked the trouble computer maker to investigate the faulty Sony batteries and report back within a week, according to an Associated Press report.
MANHASSET, N.Y. — Japanese authorities confirmed Tuesday that an Apple laptop has caught fire in Japan and asked the troubled computer maker to investigate the faulty Sony batteries and report back within a week, according to an Associated Press report.

The report quoted the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as stating an Apple iBook G4 computer caught fire in April, causing a user to sustain minor burns. The incident was confirmed by an Apple spokesperson, the report said.

Last week, Apple, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, recalled 1.8 million rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs used in its iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 notebook computers, after several reported incidents of overheated batteries. The packs use cells made by Sony Corp.

According to the Associated Press Japan's trade ministry ordered Apple's Japan branch to report findings and corrective measures by Sept. 5, or be fined up to 300,000 yen ($2,570) under Japan's consumer safety laws.

Apple's recall follows on the heels of Dell recalling 4.1 million laptop battery packs—which also use cells from Sony—after similar instances of overheated batteries surfaced.

Last week, ministry officials reported two instances of batteries catching fire in Dell laptops imported to Japan. While no injuries were reported, the fires destroyed the machines, the report said.