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Toshiba to seek compensation for battery recall

Posted: 18 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Toshiba? Fujitsu? Hitachi? Sony? laptop?

Toshiba Corp. is considering seeking compensation from Sony Corp. for lost sales and alleged damage to its brand name caused by faulty Sony-made Li-ion batteries, according to reports.

Responding to Sony's battery recall program announced in late September, the company started recalling Li-ion batteries used in 830,000 laptop PCs. Despite the recall, no instances of overheating or catching fire have been reported.

Sony is paying the cost of the recall, but reports said Toshiba also sees damage to its sales and brand name as a result of the recall, which occurred just before the year-end sales season.

"It is true that Toshiba is investigating various possibilities," said a company spokeswoman. "But nothing has been nailed down yet. The first priority is to carry out the recall program for customers' peace of mind," she said

Following Toshiba, other Japanese laptop makers such as Fujitsu, Hitachi and Sharp decided to recall Sony-made batteries in Japan. The companies also have not reported battery problems despite the recall. Along with Dell, Apple and Lenovo, more than 7.7 million units with Sony batteries have been recalled.

Toshiba's possible claim for damages could be the tip of an iceberg. A Dell spokesman declined to disclose details of negotiations with Sony on its battery recall, which totaled 4.1 million battery packs. Sony initially estimated the total cost of the recall at as much as about $252 million, but the final cost of the battery recall is expected to be much higher.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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