Sony Battery Recall to Hit 9.6 Million
The number of laptop batteries Sony is recalling will total 9.6 million worldwide,
the company said Thursday, shedding more light on the scope of a problem that
has rattled confidence in the company's image.
The estimate came just hours after Sony Corp. slashed its fiscal year profit
forecasts due to the massive battery recalls and price cuts in Japan for the
next-generation PlayStation 3 video game console.
Sony said the recalls of lithium-ion batteries will boost its costs by 51 billion
yen ($429 million) in the July-September period. Sony spokesman Takashi Uehara
said the 51 billion yen figure doesn't include "provisions for possible
lawsuits" suggesting costs may actually grow.
Sony's defective battery packs have caused massive recalls, with nearly every
major laptop computer maker to ask customers to return their batteries subject
The problem stems from batteries that can short-circuit, causing some computers
to overheat or even burst into flames. Previously, Sony had not provided a figure
of how many batteries would be subject to recall.
Earlier Thursday, the Tokyo-based electronics maker cut its earnings forecast,
saying it now expects group net profit of 80 billion yen ($673 million) for
the fiscal year through March, down 38 percent from the 130 billion yen it had
forecast in July.
Sony-made batteries have been recalled in recent weeks by U.S. makers Dell
Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., as well as Japanese makers Toshiba Corp., Hitachi
Ltd., Fujitsu and Sharp Corp. whose laptops also use Sony batteries.
Sony is joining the recall with its own Vaio laptops and that will also trim
earnings for the current fiscal year, Sony said.
The estimated total of 9.6 million batteries include the latest recalls of
90,000 batteries in Vaio, Sony said.