Japan Gov’t orders Nokia to report on Matsushita battery accidents

TThe Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan ordered Nokia Corp’s Japan unit Friday to report by next Friday on details of a series of accidents involving Matsushita Electric Industrial Co lithium ion batteries used for Nokia mobile phones, ministry sources said. Earlier in the day, the ministry called Nokia Japan President Tyler McGee to hear about overheating problems related to the batteries but judged that more detailed explanations were necessary, the sources said.

Nokia said earlier this week that approximately 46 million lithium ion batteries supplied by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co, a Matsushita subsidiary, for their phones could overheat, adding that they will replace them free of charge. Nokia made the announcement after receiving reports of about 100 incidents of overheating. It took 16 days for Nokia Japan to report to the ministry on the accidents from the day it first obtained information on overheating cases.