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It’s one thing to have a hot laptop propped uncomfortably in your lap, but it’s quite another for that laptop to literally burn people.
That is precisely why Sony announced on Friday that it would be recalling roughly 26,000 Vaio Fit 11A laptops. The move comes after several reports the company received in March and April of the new hybrid laptop battery overheating and causing partial burns to the PC itself. The three incidents occurred in Japan, Hong Kong, and in China. All units were immediately pulled from store shelves.
The batteries in question were made by Panasonic. A spokesperson from Panasonic told the Wall Street Journal that the company could not provide details about what other computer manufacturers my have received the same Panasonic batteries, but assured the paper that the batteries are customized for the needs of each client.
On its website, Sony issued a press release on Friday warning customers to immediately stop using the laptops.
“If you have one or more of the VAIO Fit11A/Flip PC model 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 a program announcement with details within two weeks. In the meantime, as safety is our primary concern, we ask again that you please refrain from using the below-listed model until you further hear from us in the program announcement.”
The only model number listed at the present time is “SVF11N13CXS”.
The recall includes all units sold from February through March – mostly in the Asia-Pacific and Europe where about 7,000 were sold in each region. Approximately 7,000 units were sold in Japan, 5,600 in Latin America, and only 500 in the U.S.
The timing of the recall couldn’t be worse, with Sony planning to sell off its PC manufacturing business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) as of spring of 2014.
This isn’t the first time Sony has had battery-related recalls. In 2006, Sony had to recall battery packs that it had produced for several other PC manufacturers. Then, in 2010 the company was forced to recall nearly 535,000 Vaio laptops when a temperature-control issue caused overheating and structural distortion to the laptop itself.
The company mentioned an impending program announcement for more information about the recall program. If you own an affected unit, keep an eye on the company’s Support Page for an announcement. If no announcement arrives on the page, there is also an 866 number (866-702-7669) available to get more information about how to get your unit repaired or replaced.