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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Servicemembers’ phones may be getting called back after last week’s announcement about defective Nokia cell phone batteries, a SoftBank Mobile Corp. representative said this week.

The Nokia BL-5C battery can short-circuit while charging, causing the battery to overheat and dislodge itself, according to the Nokia product advisory Web site. About 100 cases of overheating have been reported worldwide, but no related injuries or property damage have been reported, the Web site said.

Not all 300 million batteries are defective — only the 46 million made in Japan between December 2005 and November 2006 by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd.

The batteries are found in more than 50 Nokia handset models and two wireless GPS modules.

SoftBank Mobile sells three of those models — the 702NK, 702NK II and the 804NK — said Ken Ritter of SoftBank’s U.S. Government Sales division.

The advisory has been broadcast on Japanese media, but military customers at SoftBank’s 11 base locations in Japan and Okinawa may not have heard the news, Ritter said.

“We always encourage anyone with a problem or question to stop by one of our military kiosks for assistance,” Ritter said.

Nokia has set up a toll free number, 0120-830-670 in Japan, for customer assistance. A full list of model numbers is available at:

Owners of models included in the recall are instructed by the Web site to plug in the phone’s 26-digit identification number to see whether the battery is included in the advisory. If so, Matsushita and Nokia will replace the battery at no charge, the Web site said.


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