Earlier this week Panasonic issued a recall on battery packs for 280,000 of their FZ-G1 rugged Toughpad tablets due to a potential fire hazard. The company announced that some battery packs may potentially pose a risk of ignition or overheating.
Only a few incidents of combusted hot-swappable battery packs have been reported along with no injuries but Panasonic is not taking any chances. The recall is voluntary and in effect for models Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3 of their FZ-G1 rugged and durable tablet. No issues of Mk4 models being affected have been reported.
Panasonic is taking accountability for the potential hazard and is replacing battery packs for all affected units free of charge. As an extra precautionary measure and for additional safety the company has also released a firmware/BIOS utility for download that reduces charging for potentially effected devices from 4.2 to 4.0 volts.
The company also advises affected device owners to do the following:
Where it is safe to do so, users with an affected unit are advised to cease operations, turn off their FZ-G1 Tablet, remove the battery pack and only power the computer through approved vehicle docks, desktop docks or the power adaptor and cord from mains power directly.
Only certain battery model numbers and SKU’s are affected so it’s important to first confirm that your specific battery is included in the recall.
Panasonic is taking every possible preventative measure to ensure the safety of everyone who owns an affected unit.
These days a lot of pressure is placed on mobile device and hardware manufacturers to create smaller, and more durable, portable products with longer lasting battery life. In some cases as a result, this can potentially increase the chances of certain safety hazards in regards to devices overheating or combusting. Panasonic is certainly not the first or only company to have had to address such an issue.