[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Fire-risk laptops hit Sony shares
Dell battery
No injuries are thought to have been caused
Electronics giant Sony has seen its share price fall after laptop batteries it supplied to computer maker Dell were deemed a fire risk.

Dell is to recall 4.1 million of its notebook computer batteries because of the problem.

Sony said it did not know how much the problem would cost but that it had "taken steps to address the situation... to Dell's satisfaction".

The computer maker said it would continue using Sony as a supplier.

Most of the lithium-ion batteries are in computers sold in the US.

However, more than one million are thought to be elsewhere.

Dell says it knows of six instances since December when the batteries, made by Sony, overheated or caught fire.

Different concerns

The problem batteries were made by Sony Energy devices based in Fukushima, north of Tokyo, and were placed in laptops shipped between April 2004 and July 2006.

Batteries used in Sony's own laptops do not cause the same concerns because the problems only develop when used with specific types of computer, a Sony spokesman said.

In Wednesday trading, Sony shares fell as much as 2% at one point before recovering, closing 1.2% down on the day at 5,150 yen ($44; 23.45).

Morgan Stanley estimated that if Sony had to pay all the expenses of the recall, it could reach 50 billion yen.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the US body responsible for consumer safety, says it is the biggest recall of electrical products in its history.

A CPSC spokesman said users of affected laptops should only run the machines on a power cord.

Alex Gurzen, the vice-president of Dell's product group, told the BBC the firm wanted to "put customer safety first despite this being a small handful of incidents".

Dell is offering affected customers free replacements and by late on Tuesday, had taken 77,000 orders for new batteries.

It also received more than 100,000 phone calls and had 23 million visits to its website, www.dellbatteryprogram.com, which tells people how to check whether their computers are affected.


SEE ALSO
Dell recalls 4m laptop batteries
15 Aug 06 |  Business
Dell sued over 'false' ads claims
11 Aug 06 |  Business
Dell deal bolsters Google search
26 May 06 |  Technology
Dell's profits hit by price cuts
09 May 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific