Panasonic is recalling batteries used in some of their Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets. The batteries found in the Toughpad Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3-series are prone to short circuit after extensive use in high temperatures.
Panasonic reported 16 cases of batteries catching fire. Since they are hot-swappable, Panasonic is offering free replacement for the affected units. Meaning, there’s no need to return the whole device.
As per the company, users should verify first if their unit is safe or not. Users should check the SKU at the back of the tablet and see it is included in the list of affected devices.
If the unit is part of the list, the owners should check it the battery inside has the model number FZ-VZSU84U, FZ-VZSU89U or FZ-VZSU96U.
Once confirmed that the battery is hazardous, it is advised that you download the firmware utility. The update will then lower the standard 4.2v charging to 4v. The new firmware will also adjust the peak operating settings of the accumulator.
After the preemptive action, you can now contact Panasonic to request for your new batteries. The company will then send you a new battery without having to return the old one.
This fiasco is only one of the side effects of companies trying to “innovate” their products. Batteries sometimes end up blowing up when manufacturers try to sandwich them in compact devices. As a result, the user’s safety is also being compromised.
Despite this inconvenience, it’s actually admirable how Panasonic handled the problem and they wasted no time in correcting their mistake.