Toshiba recalls huge number of ‘fire hazard’ laptop batteries

1 Apr 2016

Just days after it announced plans to leave the consumer laptop market, Toshiba has moved to recall hundreds of thousands of faulty batteries sold over the past five years.

More than 100,000 Toshiba laptops sold in North America since 2011 are at risk of heating up to such a degree that the batteries melt. The US consumer product safety commission (CSPS) has thus announced a recall, with almost 40 Toshiba models affected.

The company, for its part, has a recall notice dated from January, citing this issue, where it claims “certain Panasonic battery packs manufactured for and used with certain Toshiba laptops” are up for recall. In the UK arm of the company’s corporate site, the word ‘Panasonic’ is notable by its absence.

We’ve sought comment from the company on how many devices sold in Ireland are affected.

According to Toshiba’s list of affected models, Portege, Satellite and Tecra notebooks are of concern, with the full list here.

According to CSPS, there have been four instances of batteries overheating to the point of melting, with no injuries reported. So, given there are 100,000 devices affected, the conversion rate of risk to actual incidence is very low.

Toshiba recommends that users of affected devices turn off their notebooks immediately, remove the batteries and get in touch. While you’re waiting on the replacement, just rely on direct power from the AC adapter.

Earlier this week, the company announced plans to move away from the consumer market and focus instead on B2B, making this recall particularly frustrating for the company.

Toshiba image via arindambanerjee/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic