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Japan orders Apple to investigate faulty laptop batteries

Posted: 31 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple? laptops? batteries? Sony Li-ion battery packs? Japan?

Japanese authorities confirmed early this week that a laptop manufactured by Apple Computer has caught fire in Japan and asked the U.S. 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 Li-ion battery packs used in its iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 notebook computers, after several reported incidents of overheated batteries from Sony Corp.

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

Apple's recall follows on the heels of Dell recalling 4.1 million laptop battery packswhich also use cells from Sonyafter 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.

- Spencer Chin
EE Times

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