The fire occurred May 24 and was later linked to a short circuit within the Sony battery pack, Toshiba said. The computer maker has had a recall program in place since late September 2006, when Sony launched a global replacement program.
Nevertheless, the most recent fire involved a notebook with the original Sony battery, and followed a similar incident in April in Japan that stemmed from an unreplaced battery, Toshiba said. As a result, the company has embarked on a new round of efforts to encourage customers to check their PCs and to get the batteries replaced if they're on Toshiba's list of notebooks with potentially defective batteries. Toshiba is replacing batteries without charge.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has listed 16 reports of Sony lithium-ion notebook batteries overheating.
Acer America is the latest computer maker to join Sony's replacement program, launching a recall of 27,000 batteries in April. In March, rival laptop maker Lenovo voluntarily recalled about 205,000 ThinkPad batteries that could pose a danger to customers. The battery recall was the second for Lenovo in six months.