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Joint Press Release with the Consumer Affairs Agency Recall of Batteries for Electric assist Bicycles Manufactured by Panasonic Cycle Technology Co., Ltd. (Product Replacement)

A product accident occurred involving a battery for electric assist bicycles manufactured by Panasonic Cycle Technology Co., Ltd., causing the product and its surroundings to ignite.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was informed of the accident as a serious product accident and the Consumer Affair Agency made the announcement on July 5, 2016, in accordance with the provisions of Article 35 (1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, which relates to an accident of unclear origin in a product other than a gas or oil appliance.

To prevent further accidents, on September 26, 2016, Panasonic Cycle Technology officially announced on its website that owners should remove the batteries to be recalled from the body of the bicycle and store them, without charging them, in a safe place with no flammable articles in or around the area. At the same time, the company stated that it will begin a free product replacement program.

METI would like to encourage consumers who have purchased the products subject to the recall to receive a replacement from the company in order to prevent any further accidents.

1. Nature of the accident and recurrence-prevention measures

1) Nature of the accident

A product accident occurred involving a battery for electric assist bicycles manufactured by Panasonic Cycle Technology, causing the product and its surroundings to ignite. One serious accident report subject to Article 35 (1) of the Act has been submitted (Control No.: A201600157; released as “electric assist bicycles”).

The cause of the accident is under investigation, but it is thought that a manufacturing defect in the battery overheated the cell of the battery, causing the product to ignite.

In addition, another product accident not covered by Article 35 (1) of the Act was reported to the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE). No injuries occurred in either case.

2) Recurrence-prevention measures

To prevent further accidents, the company provided related information on its website on September 26, 2016, and it will publish the information in newspapers on September 27, 2016, related to providing free replacement batteries for batteries subject to the recall.

2. Products to be recalled: outline of the products, verification method, and other information

1) Product name: Battery for electric assist bicycles

Batteries built for certain types of electric assist bicycles and replacement batteries, both of which were sold by Panasonic Cycle Technology and manufactured by the company from October 2 to 4, 2013

2) Verification method

Number of models of products to be recalled: 6 models
Quantity: 2,788

Model number, lot number (first four digits), battery charge capacity, and manufacturing period of products to be recalled
Model number Lot number (first four digits) battery charge capacity Manufacturing period
NKY449B02 RJ01 8.9Ah October 2 to 4, 2013
NKY450B02 RJ01-03
NKY451B02  RI27 13.2Ah
RI30
NKY486B02 RJ01-03 8.9Ah
NKY487B02
NKY488B02

Please note - You cannot identify the type of batteries subject to recall from the model number of your electric assist bicycle.
(Battery packs subject to recall can be installed in most of the electric assist bicycles sold by the company from 2005.)

Please note - The products to be recalled at this time are different from those recalled by the company through the announcement on July 27, 2015. METI encourages owners to check the model number and lot number of their product again even if such products were not subject to the previous recall in 2015.

Reference:

Products recalled on July 27, 2015 (number of models recalled: 5 models)
Model number Lot number (first four digits) Capacity of battery charge Manufacturing period
NKY449B02 RA08 8.9Ah January 8 to April 22, 2013
RB01-28
RC01-31
RD01-22
NKY450B02 QL17-31 December 17, 2012, to April 17, 2013
RA01-31
RB01-28
RC01-31
RD01-17
NKY451B02 RA07-31 13.2Ah January 7 to April 15, 2013
RB01-28
RC01-31
RD01-15
NKY452B02 QL27 December 27, 2012, to April 10, 2013
RA01-31
RB01-28
RC01-31
RD01-10
NKY454B02 RA11-31 17.6Ah January 11 to March 11, 2013
RB01-28
RC01-11

3. Actions by the company

The company will provide replacement of the products to be recalled free of charge.

4. Notices by the company

Website: Monday, September 26, 2016
Requesting cooperation from retailers: Monday, September 26, 2016, onward
Newspaper: Tuesday, September 27, 2016

5. Alert to consumers

Anyone who has purchased any of the above products should remove the battery from the frame of the bicycle, store the battery in a place with no flammable articles in or around the area, and immediately contact the company as indicated below. Do not charge the battery when storing it. (Contact counter opened on September 26, 2016.)

6. Contact

Contact counter

Office for Market Establishment of Electric assist bicycles, Panasonic Cycle Technology Co., Ltd.
Telephone (toll free): 0120-870-355 (cell-phone and PHS calls are also accepted.)

Service hours

Until October 25, 2016: 9:00 to 21:00 (every day)
From October 26, 2016: 9:00 to 17:00, except Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays

Company’s website exclusively for the recall

Release date

September 26, 2016

Division in Charge

Product Accident Information and Analysis Office, Product Safety Division, Commerce, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Group

Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
Copyright Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. All Rights Reserved.