Toshiba's Biggest Worry About Exploding Batteries Is Its Brand?
from the aren't-there-more-important-things? dept
Toshiba is one of a long, long list of laptop makers who has had to recall batteries made by Sony. However, Toshiba somehow seems to think this is all about them. They’re considering suing Sony over the problems — not, mind you, for the potential danger it put their customers in, but for the damage to Toshiba’s brand. That, of course, assumes that anyone actually considers this a Toshiba problem. With just about every other major laptop maker being hit with the same problems, it’s pretty difficult to see this impacting Toshiba’s brand any harder than anyone else’s. In fact, it’s Sony’s brand that’s getting slammed throughout the whole thing. To be honest, about the biggest slam on Toshiba’s brand seems to be the fact that they’re more concerned about their own brand than on the fact that their laptops might explode and put their customers in danger.
Comments on “Toshiba's Biggest Worry About Exploding Batteries Is Its Brand?”
The average consumer
Will the average consumer recognize that this is a Sony issue? My guess is that Toshiba customers who are issued a battery recall from Toshiba will actually perceive this as a Toshiba issue. Just like Dell customers will perceive this as a Dell issue, etc. That’s not to say that Toshiba should be suing Sony any more than any of the other laptop manufacturers should, but I don’t think you can slag Toshiba for being concerned about their brand’s perception.
Re: The average consumer
Not too far off base there. The first round of recalls that I heard about were for Dell and I thought it was a Dell problem but then over the last several weeks more and more recalls have been announced with the point being made that they were all Sony batteries. They could have just used all the publitcity they are paying for (minus the cost of court) and to proclaim that the Sony batteries are at fault. And if Sony were dumb enough to deny it there are more than enough big tech companies to bear witness to the fact that it is indeed a faulty Sony battery at work.
This isn't upsetting
I would do the same thing in Toshiba’s situation. I wouldn’t sue on behalf of my customers as you seem to think they should be doing. That would be senseless.
If it only happened to them, I would agree but there are 2 consumers. Those who have no idea what the hell is going and those who have heard about it and have indeed read on this incedent happening a few times. I highly doubt this will hurt Toshiba in anyway.
The "Average" Consumer
Well, to be completely honest, it is NOT Toshiba that should be suing for this, but Dell… Thier laptop users were the first victim of this issue, the news about bad Dell laptop batteries has been all over the news, and the average consumer is, well, a pretty fickle beast when it comes to remembering the actual details of things. Almost everyone I talk to still thinks this is a Dell only issue (because that is what was in the news first, and they tune out repeat news about this subject now), and so they think thier Toshiba, Sony or other non-Dell laptops are fine, when it is actually just as likely to affect them as well. Ironic then, that it is Toshiba that is suing first, and not Dell (although I expect them to eventually sue as well).
Well actually it is
It really is a Dell problem, a Toshiba problem, an Apple problem as they all sourced a part and sold it as their product.
If Ford or GM has a recall none of us blame the actual part maker but the automotive company we purchased the car from. It really is the responsibility of the company Toshiba etc. to maintain constant quality sampling and testing on parts from outside vendors.
An average user will not know the difference, they will blame toshiba or windows (trust me i have worked as a computer technician)
Why would you think that its not Toshiba’s problem? Of course it is. Part of their product is the battery, and if it blows up or burns down the house, of course it hurts them.
I don’t look at my IBM laptop and think that the battery was made by someone else, I bought it from IBM, and they are responsible for the parts.
Toshiba cannot sue on its customer’s behalf. It can only sue for damage done to Toshiba–hence, the lawsuit for damaging its brand.
With computer products though parts are more likely to be protected compared to car parts and the manufacturers may have a no tampering clause.
but ... they don't explode
The problem with the Sony batteries in the Toshiba laptops was not the explosion issue, but that they might stop accepting a re-charge. You were saying …?
Don’t buy it Mike. I don’t see how any insightful person could claim that just because they’re suing over the brand and NOT over the risk factor means they don’t care about their customers. That’s a reach and sounds like you’re tryin’ too way to hard.
It is quite conceivable that they don’t have any legal argument when suing for “potential harm” but have a good case with harm to the brand. Seems pretty dumb to piss on them for this when suing for something that ‘could have happened’ in U.S. courts would obviously go nowhere.
This won’t impact Toshiba’s brand – they already are notorious for their laptops falling apart at the seams after a year or so of use. Batteries or not.
Not that I’m a Toshiba fan, but they can’t sue for the danger that their customers were put in. Company A cannot sue Company B for the danger that Company B put Company A’s customers in. The only person that can so for that is the customer itself. It probably has to sue Toshiba directly since they are the provider of the defective hardware and then Toshiba can sue Sony directly for damages. But otherwise, Toshiba cannot sue except for damage to Toshiba, which is probably best described as damages to the brand.
They can probably make a good case that customers won’t buy their brand anymore because they’re afraid that yet another battery would explode (even if the battery is from Joe Shmo company). A customer may blame Toshiba for not performing proper quality assurance or something similar.
Having spent over a dozen years working for a variety of Japanese companies in Japan, I see this action as being very Japanese. As many of the posters have outlined, the average Joe consumer (in the Americas, at least) will have absolutely no idea that Toshiba products are run on Sony batteries, thus having considerable impact on the Toshiba brand name. This type of ‘character defamation’ suite is standard practice over there and Toshiba will without doubt in my mind win hands down in any court of law in the Land of the Rising Sun. This debate, is in effect, non-debatable if the procedings are carried out over there; hands down victory for Toshiba!