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Toshiba issues laptop battery recall

But no risk of fire, says company

Toshiba has become the latest company to recall faulty laptop batteries. Some 340,000 products are affected by the recall.

The batteries in question are made by Sony - as were the laptop batteries Dell and Apple recently recalled - but as opposed to those cases, there is no risk of the faulty batteries causing a fire, says Toshiba.

According to a report on the BBC, the products in question are the Toshiba DynaBook and DynaBook Satellite made between March and May of this year.

The problem with the batteries is that in 'rare' instances, they could suddenly lose all their power. For the moment, there is no word from Toshiba about any potential financial loss as a result of the recall or whether it would ask Sony to cover the cost.

The problems stem from a defect in the interface circuitry between the battery cells and the computer.

That defect is caused by corrosion, said Sony spokesman Takashia Uehara. An ingredient used in the insulating paper of the batteries in question can corrode components in the batteries' charging circuits, causing them to fail, said Uehara. The supplier changed the composition of the insulating paper without notice, he said.

Batteries made for other notebook manufacturers also contained the paper, and Sony is working with those companies to see whether there is a problem, Uehara said. He declined to say how many batteries were affected overall.

Toshiba has offered to exchange the 340,000 notebook computer batteries that are at risk.

Toshiba's battery exchange offer covers 10 models of Toshiba notebook computer. The company will post a software tool to its website shortly, allowing customers to identify whether their computer is affected, said Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori.

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