Pentax Considers Seeking Damages As Matsushita Prepares To Restart Fire-Damaged Battery Plant

October 30, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Pentax Corp. announced that it is considering pursuing financial damages from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. due to a delay of the launch of Pentax’s new digital camera. Pentax had planned to utilize a type of lithium-ion battery from Matsushita in the new camera but, after a fire damaged Matsushita’s lithium-ion battery plant, production of the batteries was disrupted, and Pentax was forced to postpone the product launch from November 2007 to February 2008.

Although Pentax has not specified the amount of damages to be sought, a spokesperson for the company stated, "It’s natural to seek damages since we incurred costs like those for changing specification such as battery form."

The announcement from Pentax came as Matsushita was revealing that it is beginning the process of resuming operations at the plant, which was damaged by fire on September 30, 2007. Matsushita estimates that the damage to inventory, equipment, and buildings located at the plant totals 2 billion yen.

The announcement by Pentax also comes on the heels of the announcement by Matsushita that, due to losses stemming from a recall of lithium-ion batteries in Nokia mobile phones, Matsushita’s group net profit for the April-September period dropped 8.7% from last year.