Panasonic Recalls 300K Battery Packs Due to Fire Risk

Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752) announced that it is expanding the scope of its  voluntary recall for rechargeable battery packs included  in Toughbook H2 rugged tablet PC and those sold separately or as a result of servicing due to fire risk.

The Japanese electronics conglomerate explained, “The batteries are being recalled due to a rare possibility of overheating or igniting due to a manufacturing condition.”

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Battery recall details

According to Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752), the expanded recall included Toughbook H2 battery packs manufactured from June 2011 to September 2012. Last May 28, the recall only included battery packs manufactured from June 2011 to May 2012.

The Japanese electronics conglomerate is recalling more than 300,000 rechargeable battery packs including 107,000 units included in tablet PCs sold to corporate customers overseas and nearly 208,000 units used in its “Lets Note” laptop computers.

Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752) advised customers to check the model number and manufacturing lot number of their battery packs to find out if included in the recall.

The company said only battery packs showing both the applicable battery pack model number and manufacturing lots numbers need replacement. The applicable battery pack model number is CF-VZSU53AW while the applicable manufacturing lot numbers begin with B, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, C93, C94, C96, C9C, C9J and C9K.

Customers need to shut down their PCs and remove the battery pack if included in the recall. They should also contact Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752) to obtain a free replacement.

Panasonic says no report of fires or injuries in the U.S.

In the United States, Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752) said it has not received any reports of fires or injuries caused by a faulty Toughbook H2 battery pack.

There had been four cases of fire caused by faulty battery packs in Japan since the recall in May. One person sustained minor injuries in Tokyo while another person in Saitama prefecture, according to a spokesperson from the company.

Panasonic opens pop-up store in New York City

Separately, Panasonic Corporation (TYO:6752) opened a pop-up store in New York City today until November 25. The company said the store will feature its latest consumer products in adventure, beauty, entertainment and imaging categories.

“Our New York Pop-Up Store gives us an opportunity to interact directly with customers as they make their holiday gift-giving decisions and let them get hands-on with our wide range of innovative products so they can see first-hand how many ways Panasonic can enhance their lives,” said Julie Bauer, president, Panasonic Consumer Electronics.