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Sunday, August 19, 2007

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The world's leading mobile phone maker Nokia pleaded for calm in India on Friday as thousands of anxious customers sought free replacements for potentially defective batteries made in Japan.

Police laid on extra security at one Nokia customer centre and crowds thronged others across India, one of the world's largest mobile markets, after the Finnish firm on Tuesday warned that some batteries were overheating.

"Your Nokia Is Safe To Use," the Finnish firm said in page-one advertisements in Indian newspapers.

The company received 165,000 SMS messages of distress following the advisory, said Devinder Kishore, the marketing chief of Nokia's Indian arm.

"Out of these calls and messages, about 4.5 percent of batteries were found in the batch for which the product advisory has been issued," he told reporters. He said there had been no overheating complaints in India.

The batteries were manufactured by Japan's Matsushita Battery Industrial Co Ltd.

Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that the country's trade ministry had ordered Nokia's Japan unit to report on the troubles within the next week.

Nokia said this week that about 46 million batteries supplied by the Japanese firm could overheat.

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