Toshiba battery recall

  vitrocmax 23:00 04 Oct 2006

I have just found out about a recall for the battery in my laptop, a Tosh Equium M50, the day after it died!

It is less than 3 months old, and was working OK Sunday, turned it on Monday and within a few seconds it failed. Stll worked on mains, so I thought it might not have charged up properly so left it on mains overnight.

Totally dead. I called in to my local PC World (where it was bought), who were less than helpful. I could leave it with them and call back in a couple of weeks. Don't think so! Called their service line, they could get it collected and return it in a couple of weeks.

A Google on 'Toshiba laptop battery' revealed that there is a recall issue with several models, and so I followed the links to Toshiba and filled in an online form. So far (it's only a day) no reply.

Has anyone had any experience of this issue?

I'm sure it's PC World's responsibility, but they argue that because it's a known rcall issu then Toshiba have to deal with it. Haven't had time to consider my options, yet.

  Forum Editor 23:49 04 Oct 2006

PC World have a liability towards you under current consumer legislation, because the laptop developed a fault within six months of the date of purchase, but.... the water may be muddied somewhat by the fact that the manufacturer has issued a general recall on your machine.

My own view is that technically PC World's liability stands - it's not your fault that the machine has a manufacturing defect. That said, they can't carry out the necessary modification themselves, and they obviously can't replace the computer, because the manufacturer has recalled it on safety grounds.

You could try asking for a refund, on the grounds that the computer isn't fit for its purpose.

  jack 08:46 05 Oct 2006

FE wrote
'You could try asking for a refund, on the grounds that the computer isn't fit for its purpose.'
Unlike a toaster or TV- a computer is going to be full of 'Your Stuff'
Have PCW got over that one yet?
The stories are legion about 'Manager Specials'
or 'New Computers' being not quite so 'New'

It does seem jiging the the many recalls of late from all and sundry, the various manufacturers in their quest to keep costs down are bulk buying their batteries from a dodgy chinese source
Peerhaps even the one that pops up here from time to time.

  vitrocmax 00:03 06 Oct 2006

A refund was not an option, because the battery was the subject of a recall (not the whole machine), according to the manager at PCW, and the fit for purpose comment to him resulted in a suggestion that it would be fit for purpose as soon as Toshiba replaced the battery.

There's an editorial on the current PCA home page that details the issues of laptop batteries, almost all made by Sony. The Toshiba fault is slightly different to the overheating issue that affects Dell and others, even though it's a Sony battery, in that it's a batch of defective material used in the construction that is the fault.

There's very little in the way of software been installed, only one program in fact. It was bought for business so there's a problem with what to do while the new battery comes.

It runs OK on mains so I've got a £25 plug in inverter from Curry's which is adequate for the amount of time it's used (which is always in the van, on site).

Frustrating, but if I was offered an alternative who knows when the replacement laptop's battery would fail?

I'm still waiting for a reply from Toshiba as to what to do next.

  Forum Editor 00:28 06 Oct 2006

that a computer is fit for its purpose when the battery is clearly faulty seems to me to be an attempt to escape liability on a false premise - that the battery doesn't form an integral part of the machine.

The computer is a laptop, and as such is designed to be capable of being used without an external power source. Your computer is not capable of fulfilling that purpose, and therefore it's 'not fit' under the terms of the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002.

At the time of purchase goods must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose, and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale). One of the definitions of an inherent fault is an error in manufacturing where a faulty component was inserted. The fault may not become apparent immediately but it was there at the time of sale and so the product was not of satisfactory standard.

In my opinion - and it is only my opinion - the PC World manager doesn't have a valid reason to refuse liability. The fact that Toshiba has recalled the battery is neither here nor there as far as the retailer's contract with you is concerned.

  vitrocmax 01:11 06 Oct 2006

I understand your comments, FE, and agree absolutely. However, as far as this battery issue goes, a replacement battery is my preference to changing to a different laptop, my gripe is that they want to take the machine in for 'a couple of weeks', while I want them to get me a new battery and nothing else.

I don't think it's too much to ask - Toshiba describe them (PCW) as an 'Authorised Support Partner' on their website.

I'll be going in to PCW again to present my case, I'll let you all know how I get on.

  vitrocmax 19:47 06 Oct 2006

Didn't need to go any further. A new battery arrived this morning, direct from Toshiba.

That is not something I expected if they have 300,000 batteries to exchange.

48 hours, well done them!

  josie mayhem 20:02 06 Oct 2006

Very glad to hear that Toshiba has come up trumps.

  Forum Editor 20:16 06 Oct 2006

Thanks for the update.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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