In what may mark the beginning of the end for perhaps the most elongated story of the year, Sony has finally announced it will begin recalling batteries from its own Vaio laptops.
Remarkably just 300,000 Vaio batteries will be recalled at present, an incredibly low number considering the total figure of potentially defective Sony batteries taken in by Dell, Apple, Hitachi, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Lenovo and is now pushing eight million.
That said, the announcement makes a mockery of Sony spokesman Rick Clancy’s August statement that “As far as Vaio PCs are concerned we don’t anticipate any need for a recall at this time, and that’s true from our understanding of other manufacturers we supply this technology to as well.” Since then no less than three million more batteries have been deemed potentially dangerous excluding today’s announcement.
If all this weren’t headache enough for the troubled multinational Sony also admits the recalls are likely to cost in excess of $251 million for the problems relating to Apple and Dell machines alone. Add in the others – not to mention the Blu-ray launch problems and PS3 delays – and 2006 appears to be the company’s annus horribilis.
PS: Sony clearly has a sense of humour since it sent out mass emails to all Sony Europe subscribers today entitled "Are you ready for the big bang?" (!?!). Sadly the company was referring to its new Bravia advertisement which combines '70,000 litres of paint with 57km of copper wire' - clearly an important lession has not been learnt here... Thanks to Stu for sending that in.