Print 27 comment(s) - last by otispunkmeyer.. on Aug 27 at 5:14 PM

Battery recalls costing Sony a pretty penny

Laptop batteries have been recalled left and right in the past couple of months. Apple and Dell have issued plenty of recalls in the past couple of months for fire hazards, with laptops occasionally bursting into flames. The culprit of the recalls is typically batteries that feature Sony manufactured battery cells. Sony today issued an official statement regarding the matter estimating the costs of the recall.

Sony estimates Apple and Dell recall programs alone will cost 20 to 30 billion yen. This translates to approximately $171 to $258 million US dollars. The estimated amount only accounts for Apple and Dell recalls. While Sony doesn’t anticipate any further recalls in the future, all Sony notebook batteries are under investigation. This includes batteries used in HP and Lenovo laptops as well.

HP has also issued recalls for notebook batteries, though on a smaller scale than Apple and Dell. Australian airline Qantas has also banned the use of battery powered Dell laptops on its planes as well due to fire risks.

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When it rains, it pours
By epsilonparadox on 8/25/2006 12:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
Sony needs something to go right this year.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By dice1111 on 8/25/2006 12:55:18 PM , Rating: 5
It's their own fault. For something to go right, they should;

*improve their unethical business practices

*lower costs on overpriced products

*stop making half-assed hardware

*stop being so proprietary
-memory stick
-umd format
-all of their hardware?

*and stop making bad batteries.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By h0kiez on 8/25/2006 1:52:54 PM , Rating: 2 time one of my less savvy friends or co-workers asks me why I hate Sony, I'm not even going to attempt to explain it. I'm just sending them here. It's funny that at a moment's notice, I can spit out 1 or 2 reasons that Sony sucks, but I actually forogt HOW MANY reasons they were are how well justified my hatred is. I am now reminded of many more reasons...well put, and well evidenced.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By retrospooty on 8/25/2006 2:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yup.. I totally agree, and thanks to Dice for doing the legwork.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By epsilonparadox on 8/25/2006 2:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you but I haven't seen so much bad press against one company in a long time. And its not just one area of their business. Its just sad how far they've fallen since their heydays.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By jskirwin on 8/25/2006 1:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Do something right?
How about firing all the top brass and returning the company to its roots - providing innovative, quality products for reasonable prices?

The brand Sony used to mean something. I remember how proud I was back in 1980 when I worked all summer cutting grass to buy a Sony boombox. The thing was smaller and not as flashy as the Panasonic Platinum, but when it came to a boombox war, it blew away its competition with power and fidelity.

Today? I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm waiting for the PS3 (and am seriously considering the Xbox 360), sold my Clie on the Bay, and won't buy the PSP. Oh, and for a new plasma, Sony is not even in the running.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By epsilonparadox on 8/25/2006 2:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
Its because of its current top brass that they aren't filing chapter11. If Ken Kutagari became CEO, his ego would have sunk the company and the company still would have been multiple silos working against each other.

RE: When it rains, it pours
By andrewrocks on 8/25/2006 5:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
too bad sony no longer makes plasmas and they have some of the best lcos big screens on the market

Nothing new...
By gundar on 8/25/2006 3:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone remember the exploding Li-ion battery fiasco with the PowerBook 5300 in 1995? It was the exact same problem with, you guessed it, Sony batteries.

RE: Nothing new...
By highlandsun on 8/25/2006 4:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I disapprove of Sony in general today, I have to say "somebody has to do it." That is, Sony is pushing the limits for power density, and we all want that. They're making mistakes along the way, but if it wasn't them then it'd be someone else, or, we wouldn't be getting higher capacities as fast as we are.

Despite the idiotic management, there are still good scientists and engineers there, and they'll learn from these mistakes and improve. There's no way any self-respecting engineer could see this and let it go unfixed. It may be that they're being over-zealous in pushing the edge of the LiIon technology, and not doing enough testing/validation. Life's rough...

RE: Nothing new...
By Etsp on 8/25/2006 5:03:34 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is the idiotic management. I can not think of an engineer WANTING to release a product he developed without proper testing, or with proper testing and unsatisfactory results... However, it is up to management to decide what's "Ready" and what's not, and it seems that at sony(Pure speculation BTW), the engineers and the management often disagree on that point. I may be right, and I may be wrong, but this would make sense to me.

RE: Nothing new...
By Griswold on 8/26/2006 12:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're right on the money there.

RE: Nothing new...
By mindless1 on 8/26/2006 5:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
Err, I could probably push the limits for power density too, if it weren't for that part about explosions.

RE: Nothing new...
By Wwhat on 8/26/2006 10:40:55 AM , Rating: 2
Nowadays you have to explode to remain competitive in this world, it's all the rave.

By delta53 on 8/25/2006 12:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if Quantas will also ban Apple's laptops as well?

RE: Quantas
By Viditor on 8/25/06, Rating: 0
RE: Quantas
By Viditor on 8/25/2006 12:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
And I left the "w" out of answer becuase I hate being this anal...:)

RE: Quantas
By sdsdv10 on 8/25/2006 12:54:25 PM , Rating: 3
Uh, "becuase"?!?!? Oh, that's the anal thing you must be talking about.

As for Apple and fire, please see links.

RE: Quantas
By haris on 8/25/2006 12:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
Apples have caught on fire.

RE: Quantas
By Hare on 8/25/2006 2:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
This only affects older legacy macs (and only a small percentage). Not the newer Intel based macbooks and macbook pros.

Lousy fact checking job
By masteraleph on 8/25/2006 12:41:38 PM , Rating: 2
Australian airline Qantas has also banned the use of battery powered Dell laptops on its planes as well due to fire risks.

No, they haven't. Qantas has banned the use of Dell laptops plugged into the outlets available in first and business class that also have batteries in the laptops. That is, in order to use your laptop, you must either: a) run it on battery power or b) take the battery out and run it on outlet power.

Read the story your original article is linked to, guys!

RE: Lousy fact checking job
By cocoman on 8/25/2006 12:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Read the story your original article is linked to, guys!"

Are you talking to yourself??????
Just in case you ALSO don´t know what i am talking about.

"Apparently security personnel are simply removing the batteries and taping up the contact points, which for some reason are supposed to prevent the use of the battery onboard. Dell laptop owners wanting to use their laptops on Qantas flights will have to use the airplane’s power supply. Business and first class seats are the only spots with access to the airplane’s power supply, disappointingly."

RE: Lousy fact checking job
By masteraleph on 8/25/2006 1:04:30 PM , Rating: 2
So we have exactly one ancedote of that, followed by:

A Qantas spokeswoman said she believed the security measures used in Canberra had since been relaxed, and that Dell users would asked simply be asked to identify themselves to cabin crew on all flights via a PA message. They would then be advised individually on the new usage guidelines, she said.

Kind of like the way that you are now allowed to bring certain sizes and certain types of liquids onboard planes.

The general policy is what I stated above. One or two airports expanded that policy, and it has since been scaled back. Let's stick to the facts here, and not get hysterical over a policy that doesn't effect anyone in coach (the vast majority of the plane!)

Sometimes they don't get better
By INeedCache on 8/25/2006 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 1
Sony's financials have been (cough, cough) "less than stellar" for a number of quarters now. This roughly $215 million hit won't help. Maybe they can regroup by selling the PS3 way below cost. Right.

By epsilonparadox on 8/25/2006 2:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
They are selling below cost. If they sold it at the price it costs to build them, you'd be paying almost the same price as a stand alone BR player.

By Griswold on 8/25/2006 1:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
Thats mucho dinero going down the tube. A job well done, sony!

Glad I removed sony from my portfolio earlier this year.

surely they have
By otispunkmeyer on 8/27/2006 5:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
no more feet left to shoot?

this is a shame, because despite the horrific pricing on some things i do like some of sony's products.

i know design and style is subjective but i have to conceed that sony's stylists are doing a bang up job their kit always seems to look very svelt and stylish

i was actually looking at a sony laptop too! lol

something needs to change. i have a PSP and in all honesty i dont actually use it. the games suck, its not really any good as a mp3 player, its next to useless as a web browser, UMD isnt exactly going places and even with a 4Gb MS its still not exactly all that and a bag of chips at being a portable video player.

their mobiles are good though, thoroughly enjoying the sony erricson K800i. and their 6Gb mp3 player is very good too, they havent tried to make a Mp3 player do all the stuff like an ipod does... it plays MP3's and thats what i like.

but yeah, not a good year for sony is it?

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