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by Mike Zazaian October 16, 2006 - 12:20pm, 1 Comment

Toshiba May Seek Damages from Sony Over Recall

Despite the fact that Sony has agreed to foot the bill for the costs of its ongoing li-on battery recalls, manufacturers such as Toshiba may seek additional damages for their trouble.

Toshiba announced today that it is investigating the ramifications of seeking further damages for over a million faulty notebook batteries that it received from Sony. Said Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori:

Besides direct recall costs, we are looking into additional impacts [such as damages to product and brand images, and potential loss of sale opportunities]. Nothing has been decided. But we don’t deny the possibility that we will ask them to cover those damages.

Toshiba, the world’s third-largest notebook PC maker, has recalled over 1,170,000 faulty Sony batteries that had been used in its computers over the past year. The defect entails small metal particles within the battery leaking into the circuitry and other areas, causing short-circuit, and potentially fires or explosions. To date Sony has recalled more than 8 million batteries with the defect from manufacturers such as Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Toshiba, Panasonic and Fujitsu.

And while Toshiba is considering further action over the recall, other manufacturers are hesitant to seek further damages from Sony, likely in fear of creating ill-will with one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers. Said Fujitsu spokesman Toshiaki Koike:

If volume retailers started taking our products off their shelves, that would be a different matter. But nothing like that has happened. We have not seen any clear evidence that we suffered from loss of potential sales or damage to our products’ image.

Companies such as Fujitsu likely fear the Sony juggernaut, as creating ill-will with one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers could be very damaging to future business ventures. Toshiba, on the other hand, is welcome to the idea of taking Sony down a peg or two, as the two companies are already locked in a heated battle over the next-generation high-def media formats. With Toshiba backing its HD-DVD and Sony it Blu-Ray, Toshiba has no problem taking a couple hundred million that Sony won’t be able to put toward Blu-Ray advertisements.

[via cnet]