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Toshiba recalls batteries due to fire risk

There's no end in sight for Sony's nightmare, as Toshiba becomes the latest vendor to recall laptop batteries because of concerns about overheating
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Written by Graeme Wearden on

Computer manufacturer Toshiba has apparently become the latest vendor to recall laptop batteries because of concerns they may overheat.

According to reports on Friday morning, Toshiba is recalling 830,000 laptop batteries. As with previous recalls by Apple, Dell and most recently Lenovo, Toshiba's battery packs use lithium ion cells made by Sony.

Toshiba representatives in the UK did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but according to the Associated Press the recall involves its Dynabook, Qosmio, Satellite Portege and Tecra models. Toshiba hasn't yet revealed exactly which shipment dates are involved.

Toshiba recalled 340,000 batteries earlier this month, but that was due to a fault with storing and transmitting power.

The series of battery recalls is turning into a serious problem for Sony. It began in mid-August when Dell announced it was recalling 4.1 million laptop batteries following several reports of them catching fire. The problem appears to be caused by impurities within the anode and cathode of the battery cell, which can allow it to discharge its stored power extremely quickly. This could result in the laptop overheating or even catching fire.

As well as damaging its image, the debacle is hitting Sony in the pocket. It is already covering some of the costs of Dell's recall, which will run to hundreds of millions of pounds.

On Thursday, Sony announced that it is setting up its own battery recall programme, under which affected battery packs will be replaced.

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