Nokia issues warning on battery overheating

UPDATE: Vendor offers to replace 46 million Matsushita batteries after recording incidents of overheating.

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By  Ronan Shields Published  August 15, 2007

Shares in battery maker Matsushita dropped 5% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the company's lowest fall since October 2005, after cell phone maker Nokia warned customers that batteries supplied by the Japanese firm were faulty.

The Finnish handset vendor yesterday issued a product advisory warning customers that 46 million of its Nokia-branded BL-5C batteries could overheat when charging handsets.

Around 100 incidents of overheating had been recorded, with no serious injuries or property damage, the firm said in a statement.

"Nokia has identified that in very rare cases the Nokia-branded BL-5C batteries could potentially experience overheating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge," the company statement read.

The vendor added that it would replace the batteries on request.

Nokia said it was in negotiations with Matsushita over which firm would pay for replacements, but it is expected that the battery maker will bear the bulk of the costs.

The advisory regarded the Nokia-branded BL-5C batteries, produced by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006. The batteries are used by Nokia to power its low-end 1100 series phones and multimedia handsets N70 and N91, among others.

It is understood that Nokia is the only vendor to use the batteries. Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson is said to mainly use batteries from Sony, which last year had its own battery recall, while Motorola has said that although Matsushita is one of its suppliers, it does not use the battery in question.

LG makes its own batteries, a spokesperson for the firm told ITP.net.

Additional reporting by Michele Howe.

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