In Tokyo, electronics maker Toshiba said today it was launching a program to replace some 340,000 batteries used in its Dynabook and Dynabook Satellite notebook computers made between March and May of 2006. Like recent recalls of laptop batteries issued by Dell and Apple, the batteries were made for Toshiba by Sony.
The replacement announcement comes shortly after Toshiba posted a statement on its U.S. ToshibaDirect Web site disclaiming any involvement in the Sony battery issue affecting Apple and Dell: "We have found no evidence that the problem reported by Dell and Apple in their recalls applies to our notebook PCs. Sony has confirmed to us that there is no such problem as cited in the recalls of Dell and Apple with the battery packs supplied to Toshiba."
Apparently Toshiba has deemed a recall warranted, or is actually responding to a different problem. Toshiba spokesperson Keisuke Ohmori says that faulty batteries did not cause fires—unlike the spectacularly flaming Dell systems—and that failures were very rare but could occur regardless of how the battery was used. Ohmori declined to speculate on the cost of the battery recall to Toshiba.
Toshiba notebook models impacted by the recall include the Satellite A100, Satellite Pro A100, Satellite M70, Satellite Pro M70, Satellite M100, Tecra A6, and Tecra A7. According to Toshiba, the recall impacts five computer models sold in the U.S., a dozen sold in Europe, and eleven models sold in Japan. Toshiba has (finally) posted information on its Web site enabling consumer to identify whether their batteries are impacted by the recall, and is offering a Windows utility to determine whether a battery is affected as well as instructions for manually identifying recalled batteries.