Sony recalls 73,000 Vaio laptops due to burn hazard

Possible manufacturing defect with wiring near the laptop's hinge may cause the Sony Vaio TZ to overheat

Sony is recalling 73,000 Vaio TZ laptops because of a possible manufacturing defect that may cause them to overheat, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

The recall relates to a problem with wiring near the computer's hinge, which could short-circuit and overheat in certain circumstances, perhaps burning the user.

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One person has suffered a minor burn as a result of the latest defect, and Sony has received 15 other reports of overheating computers, according to the Commission.

The affected models are the VGN-TZ100, VGN-TZ200, VGN-TZ300, and VGN-TZ2000 -- although not all laptops in these series are affected. Sony suggests users contact the company to see whether their computer is part of the recall, and if so to stop using it immediately.

The overheating could be caused by misplaced wiring near the hinge, or if a screw in the hinge falls out and short-circuits the wires.

In 2006, Sony was forced to recall millions of laptop batteries used in its own and other manufacturers' laptops because they presented a fire hazard, causing some computers to burst into flames.

Sony isn't the only PC maker that has had to deal with battery problems. Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Acer have all recalled laptop batteries in the recent past.

The Commission has published one other laptop safety recall this year: In May, Dell recalled almost 1 million notebook electrical adapters because of a risk of fire and electric shock.

This story was updated on Sept. 4, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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