Sony Recalls VAIO Notebooks Over 'Burn Hazard'

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Sony is recalling tens of thousands VAIO TZ series notebooks because the laptops could overheat or cause a "burn hazard" to users.

The voluntary recall, issued Thursday, covers 73,000 VAIO TZ notebooks that were sold in the United States and built both here and in Japan. It covers notebooks in Sony VAIOs VGN-TZ100 series, VGN-TZ200 series, VGN-TZ300 series and VG-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.

So far, Sony has received 15 reports of the units overheating and one customer reported suffering a minor burn.

"The issue involves a small number of units which may overheat due to a wiring problem," Mike Abary, VAIO senior vice president, wrote in the recall notice. "Sony has initiated a voluntary program to perform a free inspection and, if necessary, a repair to ensure these units meet our high quality standards."

Users are advised to go to the recall Website and input the product code and serial number located on the bottom of the notebook to determine if their VAIO notebooks are 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 to determine if their notebook is affected.

Sony said the inspection and on-site -- home or office -- repair is free. Affected laptops can also be shipped to a VAIO service center.

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

The VAIO recall echoes the 2006 recall of thousands of notebooks after batteries were found to catch fir and injure users. In September 2006, Sony issued its first battery recall due to what it called "overheating incidents."

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