Sony puts price on battery problems

Sony has provided for the first time an estimate of what the recalls of its battery packs by PC makers could end up costing the Japanese company.

On Thursday Apple said it will join Dell in recalling the Sony-made battery packs in some of its products because of a risk that they will overheat and catch fire while being charged. Apple is recalling about 1.8 million batteries, while Dell is asking customers to return 4.1 million batteries.

Sony expects the Apple and Dell recalls to cost between ¥20 billion and ¥30 billion (US$172 million to $258 million). It said the figure represents the cost of replacement battery packs and any other related costs.

That could put a dent in Sony's full-year financial results. The company currently forecasts both its operating profit and its net profit to be ¥130 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.

Sony said it anticipates "no further recalls of battery packs using these particular battery cells."

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