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Nokia escapes bad battery blame

Nokia, the world’s largest handset vendor, said Friday that Japanese partner Matsushita has agreed to cover the direct costs related warning over 46 million faulty phone batteries.

The news should give some relief to the company’s shareholders as some analysts expect the replacement procedure to cost some $1.2bn.

Nokia issued an advisory on 46 million phone batteries on Tuesday, after reports of overheating came flooding in.

The product advisory applies to the 46 million Nokia-branded BL-5C battery manufactured by Japanese vendor, Matsushita Battery Industrial, between December 2005 and November 2006.

The Finnish firm admitted that there have been approximately 100 incidents of overheating reported globally but no serious injuries or property damage have been reported. This is likely because all of the reported incidents of overheating have occurred while the battery was charging.

All in all, the battery in question is used in 52 Nokia handset models, including a number of the flagship N series and E series devices, such as the N70, N71, N72, N91, E50, and E60.

“Nokia and Matsushita have a long business relationship and the two companies are cooperating closely together in this situation,” said Masatsugu Kondo, president of Matsushita Battery. “Matsushita Battery has agreed to cover the direct costs associated with the product advisory, including, among other things, logistics costs, call centre costs, and replacement battery costs.”

Consumers can visit an information page set up at www.nokia.com/batteryreplacement or contact their local Nokia call centre to find out if they are eligible for a battery replacement.

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