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Sony initiates Global Replacement Program for defective batteries

It looks as though we haven't seen the last of the notebooks battery recalls -- not by a long shot. So far in the past two months, we've seen recalls from Dell, Apple, Toshiba, IBM/Lenovo and Matsushita/Panasonic. It now looks as though Sony has set up the Global Replacement Program for its defective batteries used in notebook computers.

The company outlined its plan for a Global Replacement Program for its notebook batteries and again restated the cause of the battery pack failures. From Sony's press release:     

Sony Corporation will initiate a global replacement program for certain battery packs that utilize Sony-manufactured lithium ion cells used by notebook computer manufacturers in order to address concern related to recent over-heating incidents. Sony always strives to deliver the highest level of satisfaction to its customers and all consumers. We believe that this program is in the best interest of both our customers and all consumers. Sony is discussing this plan with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and will coordinate with other government authorities as required. We will announce details of the program in the near future.

Companies like Dell and Apple are taking a hit from customers over the recall even though they didn't actually manufacture the batteries. Sony, which is already fighting off bad press over its PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray now has yet another fiasco on its hands and is ultimate damage control mode. As for customers, they're left to use faulty batteries as they wait to receive replacement batteries from their notebook manufacturers -- and some airlines are throwing their weight around by banning certain notebooks with Sony-produced batteries. It's a tough situation for all parties involved, but hopefully within the next few this whole matter will be behind us.

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RE: More on the subject
By rcc on 10/6/2006 1:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
I notice that Sony hasn't recalled any of its own Vaio batteries, and find it hard to believe that they used this battery for every other manufacturer besides their own. It may very well be a combination of this battery and something that other laptop manufacturers are doing that causes the battery to be unstable.

I'd hate to cast doubt on any companies business practices. But I see a couple alternatives on this.

1) Sony knew about the issue and either didn't use the cells in their notebooks, or built the chargers for those notebooks to charge more slowly, reducing heat build up; but neglected to warn other manufacturers.

2) Sony didn't know, but they charge more slowly anyway. The other manufacturers may charge more quickly, while still remaining in spec.

Another option would be if the other manufacturers were exceeding the speced recharge rate, but if so I imagine Sony would be trumpeting that to the world by now.

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