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Recall of Laptop Computers Manufactured by Panasonic Corporation (Online Delivery of Countermeasure Software)

Product accidents occurred in laptop computers manufactured by Panasonic Corporation (corporate number: 5120001158218), causing the products and their surroundings to ignite due to the fire from the products.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was informed of the accidents as a serious product accident and the Consumer Affairs Agency made an announcement on the accidents on March 27, 2018, in accordance with Article 35 (1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, which relates to accidents of unclear origin in a product other than a gas or oil appliance.

To prevent further accidents, Panasonic Corporation today made an official announcement on its website to start online delivery of countermeasure software (a charge-control utility and a program for battery diagnosis and control) for laptop computers subject to the recall.

Anyone who has purchased any of the products should access the company’s website below and download and run the charge-control utility according to the company’s instructions.

1. Background to the recall and recurrence-prevention measures

(1) Background to the recall

Product accidents occurred in laptop computers manufactured by Panasonic Corporation, causing the products and their surroundings to ignite due to the fire from the products.

The cause of the accidents was not confirmed, but it was found that the accidents were related to the lithium-ion battery cells built into the battery pack used for the laptop computers that were manufactured in specific periods. In light of this fact, on December 6, 2017, the company started the recall of battery packs manufactured in the specific periods free of charge.

However, the recall was initiated, other serious accidents occurred in certain models of laptop computers and battery packs manufactured in the target manufacturing periods, none of which were covered by the recall, also causing the products to ignite. To determine the cause, the company investigated the accidents and assumed the cause to be that advanced deterioration of the battery cells with the same specification and manufactured in the specific factory increased internal pressure, causing the products to short-circuit due to foreign matter and to ignite.

Since December 6, 2017, three serious-accident reports subject to Article 35 (1) of the Act have been submitted involving battery packs of laptop computers that were not subject to the recall released on the date but which caused the products to ignite.
(Control Nos.: A201700679, A201700749, A201700836).

In addition, two other product accidents not covered by Article 35 (1) of the Act were reported to the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE).

No injuries occurred in these cases.

(2) Recurrence-prevention measures

As an effective recurrence-prevention measure, Panasonic Corporation decided that the company will provide countermeasures software targeting all laptop computers that are able to use the lithium-ion battery cells of battery packs subject to the recall. Using the software, owners of target laptop computers are able to make a diagnosis on the state of deterioration of the battery cells and optimally control the charge. Through this approach, owners are able to curb the deterioration of such cells and any increase in internal pressure.

To this end, the company provided related information on its website on March 28, 2018, and in newspapers on March 29, 2018, in order to provide online delivery of the charge-control utility for laptop computers subject to the recall. Please note that information on the battery diagnosis and control program will be announced separately around the end of May 2018.

Some battery cells manufactured by the company have been supplied to other companies and built into battery packs of these companies’ laptop computers. As for these cells, these other companies have already installed a utility for controlling charge in their laptop computers or provided users with charge control software to encourage them to install the software on their computers.

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

(1) Product name: Laptop computers

Outline of the products

Model number (titles of series), manufacturing period, quantity

Model number
(titles of series)
Manufacturing period Quantity
CF-SX1/SX2/SX3/SX4
CF-NX1/NX2/NX3/NX4
January 2012 to March 2018 669,569
CF-S10
CF-N10
February 2011 to November 2014 219,030
CF-AX2/AX3 October 2012 to October 2016 135,114
CF-C2 October 2012 to March 2018 6,183
  Total 1,029,896

Note: SX4 and NX4 are models on which Windows 10 is pre-installed. These models are not subject to the recall since the program for battery diagnosis and control has already been installed on these models.

(2) Product verification method

In accordance with images below, please confirm the model number of your laptop computer indicated on the body.

figure

3. Actions by the company

Panasonic Corporation will initiate online delivery of countermeasure software (a charge-control utility and a program for battery diagnosis and control) for laptop computers subject to the recall.

The company will start delivery of the utility on March 28, 2018, and it will announce the information on the battery diagnosis and control program around the end of May 2018.

4. Notice by the company

Website: March 28 (Wed.), 2018
Newspapers: March 29 (Thur.), 2018

5. Alert to consumers

Anyone who has purchased any of the above products should access the company’s website below and download and run the charge-control utility.

6. Contact

Contact counter

Panasonic Corporation
Telephone: 0120-870-163

Service hours

Until April 27, 2018: 9:00 to 21:00 (every day)
From April 28, 2018, onward: 9:00 to 17:00, except Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays

Company websites

Note: Visit the website above to download the countermeasure software.

Release date

March 28, 2018

Division in Charge

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

Related website

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.