Sony says no resignations sought over battery recalls
TOKYO • Sony Corp. said yesterday that no heads would roll for now among its top management over the massive recalls of its defective batteries and worsening profit outlook.
It said chief executive Howard Stringer and president Ryoji Chubachi would continue in their jobs to oversee the recall of millions of the group’s laptop computer batteries due to fears they might catch fire.
“ Howard Stringer and Chubachi sincerely accept this case,” corporate executive Naofumi Hara told reporters in Tokyo, where Sony officials apologized again for the defective battery problems. He said Sony was “ not considering any measures against the management.”
Sony vice- president Yutaka Nakagawa offered a fresh apology to customers, but said the company had no plans to quit the battery business over the defects, which have tarnished the brand image of the global electronics giant.
U. S. computer maker Gateway earlier became the latest company to be hit by Sony’s product defect problems, recalling 35,000 laptop batteries made by the Japanese firm.
Sony said last week that as many as 9.6 million of its batteries could now be recalled at a cost of $ 482 million.
Sony said it believed microscopic metal particles, produced in the manufacturing processes, may cause shortcircuiting and overheating in the affected batteries, which were produced be- tween August 2003 and February 2006. Sony also argued that configurations of other computer makers’ laptops could cause batteries to overheat.
The company last year had a replacement program for 35,000 battery packs used in Dell laptop computers due to a similar overheating accident, but did not launch a global recall program until last month.
Sony will ask computer makers to consider using batteries from other manufacturers to replace the potentially defective ones as it does not have enough itself to do so while also meeting demand for its own products.