Sony recalls VAIOs over burn fears
Sony has issued a voluntary recall of all VAIO TZ range notebooks over fears users could be burned by them. The laptops have been on sale in Europe since June 2007 and all model numbers beginning with TZ1, TZ2 or TZ3 are affected. Sony has posted a recall notice on the VAIO Support web site, and says it will collect, inspect and if necessary repair the notebook, free of charge. The Sony VAIO Support Team is handling the recall, so owners should contact them directly, rather than contacting dealers.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recall has also been issued in America, where a possible 73,000 machines are affected. VNUNet reports that worldwide 428,000 machines could be involved. The USCPSC bulletin says that the problem is due to a potential short between mis-routed wires near the hinge, causing overheating near the DC power jack and around the frame of the LCD. Fifteen cases of overheating have been reported in the US, one resulting in a burn injury.
In 2006, internal shorts in Sony brand batteries led to a recall of six million units and cost the Japanese company hundreds of millions of dollars. As energy densities for batteries in portable devices increase, the severity of the problems caused by short circuits could become quite dramatic and the economic consequences of any recalls even more serious. Very high energy density batteries could require integral safety mechanisms.