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Sony says battery burn-out probe should have been quicker

Had trouble meeting demand for high-capacity power packs

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Sony has admitted it could have moved "more quickly" to tackle the burning battery bug that hit two of the company's biggest power-pack customers, Dell and Apple, and prompted many others to recall Sony-made lithium-ion batteries.

In an interview with Japanese-language newspaper the Mainchi Shimbun, relayed by Agence France-Presse, Sony President Ryoji Chubachi is quoted as saying: "The company should have investigated the cause of the battery problem more quickly."

Chubachi also hinted that the battery issue may have arisen from Sony's rush to deliver higher-capacity notebook power packs. "We had troubles as we tried to meet the demands for larger battery capacity," he confessed, the paper said.

In October, Sony set aside ¥51.2bn ($444m/£224m/€334m) to cover a worldwide recall of almost 10m lithium-ion notebook batteries. Following a spate of exploding laptop incidents, Dell announced its own battery recall this summer, and was quickly followed by Apple and Lenovo.

They pointed the finger at Sony-made batteries as the cause of the combustion, and in September Sony's battery division said it would support these and other laptop vendors who chose to instigate recalls. Gateway, Fujitsu, Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba and Sony's own Vaio division subsequently asked some of their customers to return Sony-made batteries. ®

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