Toshiba Offers Exchange of 340,000 Faulty Notebook Batteries

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Toshiba is not recalling but rather “offering to exchange” a total of 340,000 notebook batteries.  Toshiba emphasizes there is no overheating or fire risk with these batteries, such as with the Dell and Apple recall, but rather the faulty batteries may cause the computer to randomly shut down causing loss of unsaved work.

The list of affected batteries can be found on the Toshiba website.  Popular laptops such as the Toshiba Satellite A100, Satellite M100, Tecra A7 and Satellite M50 may be affected. Tuesday’s recall affects 100,000 laptop batteries in the U.S., 45,000 in Japan, and the rest in other parts of the world.

The faulty batteries, made by Sony, might fail to charge correctly, causing the power to cut off suddenly if the notebook is not connected to a mains outlet, said Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori.  Toshiba’s batteries are not at risk of starting a fire, Ohmori said. “There is no such hazardous or related issue.” 

The battery problem stems from a defect in the interface circuitry between the battery cells and notebook.  That defect is caused by corrosion, said a spokesman for Sony, the manufacturer of the batteries. An ingredient used in the insulating paper of batteries manufactured between March and May of 2006 can corrode components in the batteries’ charging circuits, causing them to fail, said Sony spokesman Takashia 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.

Last month Dell and Apple had major recalls on lithium-ion batteries due to concerns of overheating and fire from faulty batteries.

Below is a table of potentially affected notebooks, visit Toshiba.com for more information and instructions for testing to see if your notebook is affected:

Model Name Model Number Cells
Satellite A100 PSAA0*, PSAA1*, PSAA2*, PSAA5* 4/6R
Satellite A100 PSAA8*, PSAA9* 6N/12N
Tecra A7 PTA70*, PTA71* 6N/12N
Satellite Pro A100 PSAA3* 4/6R
Equium A100 PSAA4* 4/6R
Satellite M70 PSM70*, PSM71*, PSM73* 4/6R
Satellite Pro M70 PSM75*, PSM76* 4/6R
Equium M70 PSM77* 4/6R
Satellite M50 PSM53* 4/6R
Satellite Pro M50 PSM55* 6R
Equium M50 PSM59* 6R
Satellite M100 PSMA2* 4/6R
Satellite M100 PSMA0*, PSMA1* 6N
Tecra A6 PTA60* 6N

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