Sony recalls half a million laptops over burn risk

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Sony is recalling 535,000 Vaio laptops over fears that they may overheat so badly they could cause burns to the skin.

It says that a flaw in the heating controls can cause the machines to overheat to such an extent that the shape of the device is distorted. The problem is related to the heat management system in the BIOS software.

Sony warns that the overheating could cause skin burns, although none have been reported so far.

The problem applies to F and C Series Vaios sold since last January. The recall covers tens of thousands of machines sold in the US, Europe and Asia. The majority - 259,000 - have been sold in the US.

Apparently the company has had 39 complaints so far.

"Recently, we became aware of a potential issue affecting certain units within the VPCF11 and VPCCW2 series of notebook PCs," it says on its support website.

"In rare instances, these notebook computers may overheat due to a potential malfunction of the internal temperature management system, resulting in deformation of the product's keyboard or external casing, and a potential burn hazard to consumers."

The company says the problem can be fixed with a software update, and it's offering a repair as an alternative.

Sony laptops have a history of getting a bit hot and bothered at times. Two years ago, the company was forced to recall around 400,000 Vaios for the same reason.