Panasonic recalls Toughbook tablet battery over fire risks

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Panasonic recalls Toughbook tablet battery over fire risks

Over 43,000 potentially vulnerable.

Panasonic has recalled more than 43,000 faulty tablet battery packs globally after three of the devices caught fire in Asia.

The company today issued a local recall of rechargeable battery packs associated with its CF-H2 Toughbook tablet that were sold in Australia between June 2011 and May 2012. The battery packs are sold separately to the device and are Panasonic-built.

The tablet maker said it had identified a manufacturing fault within the battery pack that could cause it to overheat and potentially ignite, posing fire or burn hazards to users.

It urged users of affected models [pdf] to immediately turn off their tablet, remove the battery pack and use an AC adaptor and power cord running mains power to charge the tablet until they receive a replacement battery pack, which the company will offer free of charge.

Users could identify whether their device was affected by checking whether the manufacturing lot number - printed on the back of the device - is one of the 13 lots listed as vulnerable.

Over 600 of the Toughbook batteries are estimated to be affected locally.

The recall was taken as a precautionary measure after two other models of Panasonic tablet battery packs, for the Let's Note tablets, overheated and caught fire in Japan and Thailand last year, Panasonic revealed today.

It is recalling more than 43,000 faulty battery packs globally, but said it had not received reports of incidents with the devices other than in the three Asian cases. It said no-one had been injured in those instances.

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