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Sony Considers Vaio Laptop Recall on Overheating Battery

Sony Corp. is considering a recall of the Vaio Fit 11A notebook computer because of a problem of overheating on a battery supplied by a unit of Panasonic Corp.

Sony, which has shipped 25,905 of the computers worldwide, identified three cases in which the battery overheated, according to Stewart Pagan, a company spokesman. Sony is investigating the faulty batteries and consumers should temporarily halt usage of the device until any problems have been identified, according to a statement on its website.

The potential recall comes as Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai attempts to revive the consumer electronics business through restructuring and job cuts. The Tokyo-based company may sell its Vaio computer business to Japan Industrial Partners Inc. and Hirai has said he will split Sony’s TV manufacturing unit into a separate operating entity by July.

“The impact on Sony stock price would be limited” from a recall, said Takashi Aoki, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co. “Sony already decided to spin off the Vaio business.”

Panasonic offers their full support to Sony, Chieko Gyobu, a spokeswoman for the Osaka, Japan-based company said in a phone interview. She declined to comment further.

Sony said on the website its considering replacing or repairing affected products and that additional information will be provided within two weeks.

Sony has been troubled by faulty PC batteries in the past, including a major recall in 2006, when the lithium-ion battery the company supplied to Dell Inc. and Apple Inc. caused almost 6 million PCs to be recalled.

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