Panasonic has issued a battery recall to UK and European owners of one of its Toughbook devices owing to a risk of the unit catching fire.
The move is part of a worldwide recall of 43,000 batteries after three units caught fire, two in Japan and one in Thailand. No incidents have been reported in Europe or the UK but the company is issuing the recall as a precaution.
Panasonic issued the notice for users of its CF-H2 handheld tablet device, explaining that a problem had come to light that could affect devices over an 11-month period.
"We've just become aware of an issue with the battery packs included in our Toughbook CF-H2 tablet PC series manufactured from June 2011 through to May 2012, and those sold as accessories or used as replacements during servicing," it said.
"Because of a manufacturing problem, these particular battery packs may overheat and, in rare instances, cause the notebook to ignite."
Panasonic said it will replace batteries free of charge where required.
Users have been urged to check the model number and lot number of their device to see if it is one of those affected. If so, the advice is to remove the battery immediately and contact the company.
Models numbers that need to be replaced are B6NA, B6YA, B71A, B74A, B75A, B76A, B7CA, B7VA, B83A, BBGA, BBHA, BBJA, BBWA and the battery pack model number CF-VZSU53AW.
The Panasonic Toughbook range is traditionally used by enterprises that work in harsh conditions, such as construction and utility firms, where there is a need for reinforced, toughened devices to withstand the elements.
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