Hitachi joins most of the leading notebook computer makers in recalling batteries from Sony that are known to overheat and potentially cause fires. The recall is one of the smaller ones, affecting 16,000 units only sold in Japan. The Hitachi Flora 210W and Flora Se210 laptops ship with the Sony batteries, Hitachi said. Hitachi doesn\u2019t use the batteries in any other products and hasn\u2019t received any complaints from users about problems with them. Hitachi\u2019s recall pales compared to Dell\u2019s, which was the first and affected 4.1 million of the Sony batteries. Apple Computer recalled 1.8 million batteries, and Toshiba, Lenovo Group, IBM and Fujitsu have recalled hundreds of thousands each. Combined, the companies have recalled more than 7.9 million batteries. Hewlett-Packard is one of the few remaining large computer makers not to issue a recall, claiming that an HP system configuration prevents overheating. Acer is considering issuing a recall but is still investigating the issue.Sony is hammering out a plan with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to launch a global replacement program for the batteries. Sony blames the problem, which affects some lithium ion batteries, on tiny metal particles that might come in contact with parts of the battery, possibly triggering a short circuit. Normally, the battery should power off when that happens, Sony said, but in some cases the short circuit could cause overheating and flames.-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)Keep checking in at our Sony Battery Recall page for updated news coverage of this unfolding story.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.