Washington: Stop using recently unveiled Sony’s Vaio11A laptop because the device catches fire due to overheating of battery.
The batteries Panasonic Corp. made for nearly 26,000 of Sony’s latest Vaio notebook could overheat and catch fire, Sony warned on Friday, April 11.
Anyone who owns or uses a Vaio Fit 11A should immediately stop using the device until this issue is sorted out. Sony is apparently considering a recall.
The news broke out via the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), who first reported that Sony is currently reaching out to all owners of its latest Vaio to notify them that their PCs may have faulty batteries that could burst into flames.
According to the report, Sony has received three reports of batteries that caused partial burns to Vaio laptops after overheating. The first incident reportedly occurred on March 19 in Japan, followed by similar instances on March 30 and April 8 in Hong Kong and China, respectively.
Sony stopped selling the latest Vaio at the beginning of this month and urges all owners of the device to stop using it as soon as possible.
Sony is currently working on identifying the affected units by serial number. The company is also developing a program to repair or replace all affected computers. More details will become available within the next couple of weeks.
It has come to our attention that some of the internal, non-removable battery packs provided to us by a third party supplier and included in VAIO Fit 11A released in February 2014 have the potential to overheat resulting in partial burns to the housing of the PC,” Sony warns.
“If you have one or more of the VAIO Fit 11A models listed below, please immediately discontinue use, shut down and unplug the PC. We are currently identifying affected PCs by serial numbers and developing a program to repair or replace the affected PCs at no charge, or to refund the purchase price for the affected PCs, in accordance with the program.
We expect to post program announcement with details within two weeks. In the meantime, as your safety is our primary concern, we ask again that you please refrain from using the below-listed models until you further hear from us in the program announcement.”
The target models are Sony Vaio Fit 11A PCs with product names SVF11N1XXXX. Sony has posted images on how to check your device’s product name.
The company reported having sold a total of 25,905 Vaio Fit 11A units worldwide since the laptop first went on sale in February. Of this total, nearly 7,000 units sold in Asia-Pacific. This number excludes sales in China and Japan, which sold roughly 2,000 and 3,600 units, respectively. Sony further sold 7,000 Vaio fit 11A units in Europe, 5,600 in Latin America, and 500 in the U.S.
A spokeswoman for Panasonic has confirmed to the WSJ that the company had indeed provided the batteries to Sony, but declined to reveal which other PC makers received batteries made by Panasonic as well. The spokeswoman further said that the batteries are customized based on what clients ask and differ depending on client. Panasonic has reportedly not heard of any problems with batteries made for other clients.
This is not the first time an overheating issue is affecting Sony laptops, however. Back in 2010, Sony announced a recall of about 535,000 Vaio laptops worldwide because a temperature-control issue could cause excessive heat and ultimately distort the shape of the device, the WSJ points out.
If you own or use a Vaio Fit 11A laptop, the best thing to do is stop using it immediately and contact Sony in your country to determine whether your laptop is at risk of catching fire.