More battery problems for Sony

Janet Babin Sep 19, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: More problems with Sony laptop batteries today. Toshiba said it’s recalling 340,000 of them, but not because they might catch fire. From the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio, Janet Babin reports.

JANET BABIN: The batteries are in Dynabook and Satellite laptops made from March through May of this year.

Sony blames the faulty batteries on one of its subcontractors which started using a different material inside the batteries. That substance caused the circuits to corrode and the batteries to stop working prematurely.

But analyst Carmi Levy with the Info-Tech Research Group blames Sony for not checking out what its subcontractor was doing.

CARMI LEVY: “Sony did not engage in sufficient due diligence to ensure that the batteries that were going out the door were manufactured to its manufacturing tolerances, so Sony didn’t do its homework here and it got burned.”

It’s not clear yet whether Toshiba or Sony will foot the bill, but Levy says the latest recall will cost Sony’s reputation more than its bottom line.

In August, both Dell and Apple recalled almost six million Sony batteries because they could overheat and catch fire.

In Durham, North Carolina, I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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