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Toshiba Corp., a leading maker of electronics, said it would replace as many as 340 thousand batteries made by Sony Electronics Corp. due to issues. The problems have no relation to the previously reported cases when laptops that used Sony battery cells caught fire or exploded, the firm said.

A news-report by Associated Press claims that 340 thousand – 100 thousand in the U.S., 45 thousand in Japan and the rest sold all around the world – of Dynabook or Satellite laptops produced from March through May this year can suddenly run out of power due to problems with battery cells made by Sony Corp.

“While the latest battery problem causes the laptops to sometimes run out of power, no injuries or other accidents have been reported,” Toshiba Corp. spokeswoman, who declined to provide the number of reported problems, Keisuke Omori is reported to have said.

The batteries will be replaced for free, according to the report, however, at press time no precise information about the model series affected could be found on any of Toshiba web-sites.

Back in August Apple and Dell have recalled combined 5.9 million batteries for notebooks after 9 and 6 incidents, respectively, in which batteries produced by Sony flamed and/or exploded. A spokesman for Sony indicated that Sony Electronics is “speaking regularly with its battery customers” and expressed opinion that the recalls would stop with Apple and Dell, implying that HP and Lenovo, another notebook suppliers who used batteries by Sony, will not recall their products. Later on Panasonic said it would recall batteries for 6 thousand of its laptop batteries that contained Sony-made cells due to fire hazard. Sony itself said it would not replace batteries for its own Vaio notebooks.

Sony said in an official statement that the recall arises because, on rare occasions, microscopic metal particles in the recalled battery cells may come into contact with other parts of the battery cell, leading to a short circuit within the cell. Typically, a battery pack will simply power off when a cell short circuit occurs. However, under certain rare conditions, an internal short circuit may lead to cell overheating and potentially flames, the company indicated. The potential for this to occur can be affected by variations in the system configurations found in different notebook computers.

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