Sony Says Battery Recalls To Cost $257 Million

Sony Corp said Aug. 25 that it expected to take a hit of up to $257 million over the recall of millions of its batteries by U.S. computer makers because of fears they could catch fire. The Japanese electronics giant said in a statement that the overall cost of supporting those recalls would amount to some 20-30 billion yen (US$171-257 million). No further recalls were expected, it added.

Apple Computer said Aug. 24 that it was voluntarily recalling more than one million Sony batteries for its computers. Dell last week announced a recall of an estimated 4.1 million Sony laptop batteries. Dell and Apple Computer were forced to recall the Sony-made laptop computer batteries due to fears they could burst into flames when overheated.

Japan's industry ministry ordered Sony and Dell on Aug. 24 to investigate reports that some laptop batteries made by the Japanese electronics giant have overheated and caught fire. At least two such incidents have been reported in Japan since October of last year, according to the ministry. Sony has said the problems of overheating and fires did not stem from a problem with the original design of the batteries but were tied to a number of factors linked to the integration and configuration with the computers. Apple has received nine reports of batteries overheating, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Aug. 24.

"We supplied the same types of batteries to other companies, but because of differences in computer systems, we don't think similar problems will occur with other computers," a company spokesman said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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