Panasonic Lithium-Ion Batteries Can Overheat; Toshiba Recalls 190K
After a long 2016, U.S. consumers are used to hearing about Lithium-ion battery problems leading to laptops overheating, smartphones going up in flames, hover boards burning riders, and electronic cigarettes exploding in people’s pockets. In the latest recall of the troubled Lithium-ion battery, which powers the vast majority of the world’s wireless devices, Toshiba has announced the expansion of their recall from March 2016 over defective Panasonic Lithium-ion batteries found in many of their laptops. U.S. Authorities have now reported at least five incidents of a battery melting. The units were manufactured in China by Panasonic, a Japanese corporation, and imported by Toshiba’s American subsidiary in California.
Fortunately, at the time of the recall no injuries have been reported, but the batteries can allegedly overheat, melt, and potentially create a fire hazard. The recall now affects 189,000 batteries in 41 models of Toshiba’s satellite laptops sold in North America from June 2011 to November 2016. The laptops were sold online at Toshiba’s website and at national retailers like Office Depot and Staples from $500 to $1,000. Backup Panasonic battery packs were also sold through the same channels for $70 to $130.
Overheating Lithium-Ion Laptop Batteries
In June 2016, HP, Sony, and Compaq each recalled some of their own laptop computers with Lithium-ion batteries because of the same overheating and fire concerns. That HP recall affected more than 40,000 batteries that were also made by Panasonic. Those laptops were sold across the country at Walmart, Costco, and Best Buy. In 2014 Panasonic issued their own series of Lithium-ion battery recalls that affected over 300,000 units worldwide, primarily found in their Toughbook tablets and Notebook computers.
Owners of a recently recalled Toshiba laptop are being told by authorities to remove the defective Panasonic Lithium-ion battery immediately to avoid the risk of injury and property damage. Consumers can still use their laptop, but only by plugging directly into AC power. To obtain a free replacement battery Toshiba has launched a website devoted to the recall (see below).
List of affected Toshiba laptop computers: https://batterycheck.toshiba.com/BatteryUpdate/ModelList?region=TAIS&lang=en&country=US
Instructions to check/return your Toshiba laptop/battery: https://batterycheck.toshiba.com/BatteryUpdate/ManualCheck?region=TAIS&lang=en&country=US
To contact Toshiba’s recall program by phone call: (866) 224-1346