Sony Recalls TZ Series Notebooks for Overheating

Sony has been dealing with the fallout from overheating batteries for a couple of years now, so it should be used to the fire drills associated with running damage control on overheating products. That practice should come in handy, as the latest hot potato form Sony is an entire line of overheating laptops.

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Sony has issued a voluntary recall of about 73,000 units of its VAIO TZ-series notebooks that were sold in the U.S. between July 2007 and August 2008. The potentially affected models are:

  • VGN-TZ100 series
  • VGN-TZ200 series
  • VGN-TZ300 series
  • VGN-TZ2000 series

Today's press release states:

"Hazard: Irregularly positioned wires near the computer's hinge and/or a dislodged screw inside the hinge can cause a short circuit and overheating. This poses a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Sony has received 15 reports of overheating, including one consumer who suffered a minor burn."

Sony VAIO VGN-TZ2500 Series (credit: Sony)

The press release also warns owners of any of the potentially affected notebooks to not use them until they can determine if the specific units are ones being recalled. In somewhat of a disconnect, the U.S. Sony Support site provides different advice:

"Q1: Can customers who have affected models continue to use their notebook?
A1: Yes, they can continue to use the unit. However, they should still call 1-888-526-6219 at their earliest convenience to set up an inspection and possible repair."

Customers are actually given two means of determining if their units are affected: the toll-free phone number and a "special website:" to check if their units' serial numbers are included in the ones being recalled. At the time of the post, however, the link was not working; it just displayed an almost blank page with just the text, "This is a test." Presumably, Sony will update this page with the correct information soon.


Customers who confirm that they have affected units are advised to turn the notebooks off, unplug them, and remove the batteries. Sony will inspect and repair affected units for free with on-site repair or via shipping the units to a Sony service center.

It appears that the VAIO TZ-series recall is global. We've found recall notices on Sony’s support sites for several countries, including the U.K., France, Japan, and even Russia. It is unknown at this point just how many affected notebooks there are worldwide, but it is obviously a lot more than just the 73,000 units in the U.S. At the time of this post, Sony's stock was trading down more than two percent on the New York Stock Exchange.