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Japan PC makers say no battery recall needed

Fujitsu and other Japanese computer makers said that no recall of Sony batteries was necessary because their computers were designed to avoid overheating.
/ Source: Reuters

Fujitsu Ltd. and other Japanese computer makers said on Thursday that no recall of batteries made by Sony Corp. was necessary as their computers were designed to avoid overheating.

"We have determined that there is no possibility that any battery trouble could cause smoking or fire in our notebook computers," said a Fujitsu spokesman.  "Most Japanese makers don't allow high voltage to flow from their AC adapters to the computer battery, out of safety concerns."

The statement come following Dell Inc.'s announcement that it would recall 4.1 million lithium-ion batteries, saying batteries made by Sony could smoke and catch fire.

Fujitsu, Toshiba Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. use Sony lithium-ion battery packs but the batteries used are different from those shipped to Dell, the companies said.

Sony shares have been under fire on concerns that the recall will hurt efforts to revamp its electronics business in the face of fierce competition from rivals Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sharp Corp.

Sony is still assessing the possible financial impact of the recall, including replacement, shipping, storage, and personnel costs, a Sony spokesman said.

He added that nothing had been decided on whether Sony would pay for all the recall costs involved.

U.S. consumer safety officials said on Tuesday they were reviewing all Sony-made lithium-ion batteries in laptop computers for fire hazards.  The Japanese electronics company holds a 25 percent global market share in lithium-ion batteries for notebook computers, after Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd.

Sony has said the overheating problem is believed to be specific to batteries supplied to Dell and that an incompatibility between the battery cells and Dell's recharge system was to blame.

Apple Computer Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. also use Sony batteries.

"Our management software makes sure no such overheating occurs, and we are confident that the computers are safe," said a spokesman from Lenovo Japan.