Panasonic in global ToughPad tablet battery recall

Panasonic in global ToughPad tablet battery recall

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The challenge for Panasonic is that the Toughbook devices are intended to be used in hostile environments, including higher temperatures. Problems have been reported with tablets in the US, Asia and Australia, and the company is voluntarily recalled 250,000 of the FZ-G1 Mk1-2-3 units manufactured since April 2013 and shipped worldwide. The recall includes Europe, but the more recent Mk 4 designs are not affected.

The problem stems from contamination inside the battery cells. When the batteries are used in environments with wide temperature variation, a short circuit can occur inside the cell that can cause overheating and ignition.

Panasonic has learned from the problems faced by Samsung with cells from ATL and Samsung SDI and issued a firmware update that hobbles the batteries and provides more monitoring. Users are being asked to download a BIOS update, which reduces the charging voltage from 4.2 to 4.0 V and reduces the peak operating settings of batteries, or remove the batteries and use the chargers for power.

Panasonic produces its own cells, competing with Samsung SDI, LG Chem and ATL. It works closely with Tesla in the US, building electric car battery cells in Tesla’s megafactory in Nevada.

The exact product numbers (SKUs) involved in the ToughPad recall are at

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