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Some Sony VAIO Users Have Been Hot And Bothered For Years

Sony's recall of 73,000 VAIO TZ notebooks came as no shock to some users, who say their VAIO laptops have been prone to overheating for years.

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VAIO users across the blogosphere and through e-mails chronicled their encounters with VAIO notebooks that ran too hot.

One user, commenting on popular gadget blog Gizmodo, said two days before the recall that her VAIO had scorched her arm. She added that she has recounted the event on her Facebook page.

"I posted on my Facebook page about my beloved VAIO turning on me and burning the skin off my poor arm on Sept. 2," the commenter wrote.

The voluntary recall, issued Thursday, covers 73,000 VAIO TZ notebooks sold in the U.S. and built both here and in Japan. It covers notebooks in Sony VAIO's VGN-TZ100, VGN-TZ200, VGN-TZ300 and VGN-TZ2000 series. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission said the overheating and short-circuiting can be caused by irregularly positioned wires near the notebook's hinge or possibly a dislodged screw inside the hinge.

The affected VAIO notebooks were sold through SonyStyle stores and its Web site, as well as electronics retailers and authorized resellers. The affected models were sold between July 2007 and August 2008 for between $1,700 and $4,000.

So far, Sony has received 15 reports of the units overheating and one customer reported suffering a minor burn. But VAIO users suggested there are likely many more incidents of overheating and burning that Sony is not yet aware of.

One user, who sent an e-mail to ChannelWeb, said his VAIO laptop has been overheating for years.

"I have an older VAIO that you could cook meat on and it's never been recalled," he wrote. "I bet if you surveyed most VAIO users they would tell you that this has been a problem with VAIO for some time."

That concerned user said his laptop is "downright dangerous around children. You can't put it in your lap because it would burn your leg. In fact, it's so hot that they run a fan that sounds like a blow dryer to keep it cool."

Another VAIO user, posting a comment on a popular product review Web site, said VAIOs have been plagued by overheating for years.

"Sony VAIO has had an overheating problem since 2002 models," the poster wrote. "We tried and tried to get help with my daughter's 2002 VAIO, bought accessories to cool it. Nothing worked. We are surprised it took this long for a recall."

In a letter announcing the recall, VAIO Senior Vice President Mike Abary said the recall is voluntary and users with affected machines are entitled to a free inspection and, if a problem is found, repair. Affected laptops can also be shipped to a VAIO service center.

Users are advised to go to the recall Web site and input the product code and serial number located on the bottom of the notebook to determine if their VAIO notebook is affected. That information will be checked against the range of affected units. Users who find that their notebook is affected are then advised to follow instructions on the site and make arrangements for an inspection. Users can also call the VAIO TZ customer hotline at 1-888-526-6219.

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