The announcement is the latest in a series of embarrassing production problems for Sony.

Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Omori said the batteries sometimes stop recharging or run out of power, but that no injuries or other accidents had been reported.

The problems are found in some of the battery packs for Dynabook and Satellite laptop models manufactured by Tokyo-based Toshiba from March until May this year.

Tuesday's recall affects 100,000 laptop batteries in the US, 45,000 in Japan, with the rest in other parts of the world.

The company says the batteries will be replaced for free.

Sony troubles

Toshiba said the defect is not directly related to the problem behind last month's recall of Sony batteries by Dell and Apple, which cited concerns that the batteries could overheat and catch fire.

Dell asked customers to return 4.1m faulty laptop batteries, while Apple recalled 1.8m batteries worldwide.

In both cases, the troubled lithium-ion batteries were made by Sony Energy Devices, a Japan-based subsidiary of Sony.

Earlier this month, Sony said it would postpone the European launch of its PlayStation 3 by four months to March due to problems with producing a component in the Blu-ray disc part of the machine.

Last week, Sony said it would postpone by a week until September 23 the Japanese launch of its new digital Walkman because of a malfunction of an unspecified part of the portable music player.