Kyocera Wireless Corp. (San Diego), has announced a voluntary recall of as many as a million of its mobile phone batteries after discovering one of its former suppliers knowingly supplied counterfeits.
According to a Kyocera spokesman, the fraudulent batteries were supplied by Hecmma Group, an El Paso, Texas-based company that repackages battery cells. The spokesman said the counterfeit batteries were shipped with Kyocera phones and sold as accessories.
The spokesman added that even after Kyocera terminated its supply agreement with Hecmma, the company continued to peddle the fake batteries in the gray market as Kyocera batteries.
The counterfeits feature Kyocera's logo and are designed to look identical to legitimate Kyocera-approved batteries.
Kyocera said it is working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Consumer Product Safety Commission to locate the counterfeit batteries, prosecute those involved and ensure the fraudulent products do not reach consumers.
"We are working closely with all our carrier partners to identify those who may be affected and replace their batteries as quickly and conveniently as possible," said Tsuyoshi Mano, president of Kyocera Wireless, in a statement.
The batteries under recall cover specific serial numbers in Kyocera's Slider Series SE44/SE47; Series KE413, KE414/KX414, KE424/KX424, KE433, and KE434/KX434 with Phantom, Blade, or Rave names; and Series 3225/3250. The company should be contacted at this website for details on the serial codes affected.
This is not first time Kyocera has recalled cell phone batteries. In January, Kyocera recalled batteries in its 7135 Smart phone that were imported from Hong Kong-based Coslight International Group after reports of possible overheating.
Counterfeit or defective batteries or battery packs have become an old story to other mobile phone suppliers and laptop computer makers. Other cell phone suppliers recalling batteries include Nokia and LG.Philips.
Among laptop computer suppliers, Dell, IBM, and Apple have all announced voluntary recalls this year.