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Another Sony Laptop Battery Recall

Major Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. said Friday that it is recalling 830,000 batteries made by Sony for its laptops, the latest in a growing global recall involving Sony batteries.

Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Omori said the recall involves Dynabook, Qosmio, Satellite Portege and Tecra models, but regional breakdowns and dates of manufacturing weren't immediately available.

Fujitsu spokesman Masao Sakamoto also said the Tokyo-based company will be making a decision soon about its laptops using Sony lithium-ion batteries.

The move follows an announcement from Sony Corp. earlier in the day asking manufacturers using its problem batteries to carry out exchanges.

The latest announcement brings the tally of recalled batteries to about 7 million worldwide.

In August, Dell asked customers to return 4.1 million batteries, and Apple Computer Inc. recalled 1.8 million batteries worldwide, warning they could catch fire.

Overnight, IBM Corp. and Lenovo Group, the world's third-largest computer maker, said they were seeking the recall of 526,000 rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries purchased with ThinkPad computers after one of them caught fire at Los Angeles International Airport this month.

Omori said Toshiba's recall was in response to Sony's request, and Toshiba had not found any cases in which the laptops were at risk of catching fire.

"But we wanted to assure and satisfy our customers," he said.

Last week, Toshiba said it was recalling 340,000 laptop batteries, also made by Sony, but that was for a different problem that caused the laptops to run out of power. Friday's announcement marks the first time a Japanese manufacturer has announced a recall related to the problem in Sony laptop batteries behind the massive global recall.

The recalls involving Sony batteries are the largest electronics-related recalls in U.S. history. It's a major embarrassment for the Japanese electronics and entertainment powerhouse, which is in the midst of a major overhaul of its operations, closing plants, shutting divisions and trimming jobs.

Sony has said the batteries could catch fire in rare cases when microscopic metal particles came into contact with other parts of the battery cell, leading to a short circuit. Typically a battery pack will power off when there is a short circuit; but on occasion the battery would catch fire instead.

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