The battery recall saga just keeps going. The latest chapter is the recall of certain batteries for Panasonic's Toughbook CF-S10.
You probably know the drill by now. If you own a Panasonic Toughbook CF-S10, shut it down, disconnect it from the mains and check the battery to see if it one of those covered by the recall.
You're looking for a CF-VZSU61U battery with manufacturing lot numbers starting with BAW, BBF, BBX, BBY, BC, C1 C2 and C3 (see diagram).
If that's what you find, contact Panasonic on 1300 665 507 (Monday-Friday, 8.30am-6.00pm AEST) or panasonicCFH2battery@panasonic.mailus.com.au to arrange a free replacement.
Do not continue to use a battery from these batches. Panasonic says you can use the Toughbook with its mains adaptor while awaiting a replacement.
According to the recall notice, "There is a risk that the rechargeable battery pack may overheat cause smoke or may ignite" with a consequent "risk of a fire or a burn hazard to consumers and to the CF-S10 Panasonic Toughbook Computer"
The affected batteries were sold here between April 2012 and June 2013, either with the Toughbook or as accessories. According to Panasonic's Japan web site (which announced the recall at the end of January), less than 1200 units of the affected batteries were supplied to overseas markets.
A problem with lithium-ion batteries is that in certain circumstances a short circuit can occur in one of the internal cells, causing overheating. That extra heat can trigger the overheating of adjacent cells, resulting in temperatures that can harm the equipment or its user.