Sony is recalling more than 500,000 Vaio laptops, citing a defect related to the laptops’ ability to regulate their temperature.
Reportedly, Vaio laptops may overheat to the point of becoming physically distorted and potentially burning users-though Sony has said no incidents of burns have yet been reported. However, 39 customers abroad have already reported instances of devices overheating to the point of becoming distorted.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the recall applies to 259,000 laptops in the United States, 103,000 in Europe, 120,000 in Asia and 52,000 in Japan. Affected laptop models include the Vaio VPCF11 and VPCCW2 series.
Sony introduced its F Series Vaio-which features a 16.4-inch display, an optional Blu-ray Disc drive, dedicated Nvidia GeForce graphics and an HDMI out port-at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Owners of faulty Vaios can reportedly perform a fix themselves by downloading a BIOS firmware update from the laptop’s update system or the Sony Website. Alternatively, users feeling iffy about the fix-in light of Sony’s burn notice-can contact the company, which the Journal says will pick up the affected device and perform the repair work.
This hardly the first overheating problem Sony has faced in its Vaio line. In 2006 Sony recalled the battery packs used in some Vaio notebooks, again citing overheating as a problem. The lithium ion batteries were also sold with, or sold separately for use with, notebooks from Fujitsu, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba, which also had to be sent back.
In 2008, five models in Sony’s Vaio TZ Series were recalled due to an issue involving, Sony said, a “small number of units, which may overheat due to a wiring problem.” And in 2009, the manufacturer recalled Vaio AC adapters due to a potential shock risk.
A Sony spokesperson told the Journal that the company doesn’t expect the most recent recall to have a significant impact on its earnings-which, after two years of struggles, are back in the black.
To check whether a PC is one of the affected models, consumers can visit the Sony site and plug in the device’s serial number.