TOKYO Sony Corp. has offered to exchange lithium-ion battery packs, prompting Toshiba to announce an expanded exchange program Friday (Sept. 29) that will include an additional 830,000 laptops.
The exchange program responds to the latest recall of battery packs by Lenovo and IBM. Toshiba previously offered to replace about 340,000 faulty Sony battery packs.
"The troubles with Dell and Apple computer cases have not been reported with Toshiba's notebook PCs," a Toshiba spokeswoman said. "We believe that battery packs for Toshiba's notebook PCs have no problem in terms of safety, but we decided to launch the program for customers' peace of mind."
Toshiba laptops covered under the exchange program include its Dynabook, Satellite, Tecra, Protege, and Qosmio models.
Other Japanese vendors including Sony, Hitachi, Sharp and Fujitsu are also considering similar exchange programs for their notebooks. Fujitsu is expected to announce its program as early as Friday.
"Sony offered the global exchange program from the view point of users' peace of mind. We did not decide it because of Lenovo's case," a Sony spokesman said, adding that it is still investigating problems with ThinkPad laptops made by Lenovo and IBM.
Sony has not disclosed the total number of battery packs to be exchanged.
After a series of incidents involving its batteries and subsequent recalls, Sony changed its manufacturing processes for producing lithium-ion batteries in February. Batteries offered in the exchange program were manufactured after February.
Separately, Dell said Friday it has raised the total number of laptops affected in its August recall by about 100,000 to about 4.2 million units. Dell has set up a Web site to help customers determine whether their laptops are covered by the recall.