Sony Offering Support for Faulty Nvidia GPUs

While HP, Dell and Apple have already admitted that its products are victims of the Nvidia GPU packaging issue, it took Sony a little longer to step up for its Vaio customers.

Earlier this month Sony finally issued an official statement (see here for image of statement) regarding its laptops that feature the faulty GPUs. It reads as follows:

In July 2008, Nvidia publicly acknowledged a failure associated with some of their graphics processors (GPU) due to a manufacturing defect in the graphics chip packaging. At that time Sony and Nvidia jointly investigated whether Vaio models equipped with this GPU were impacted by the issue. This investigation revealed that the issue had not occurred in such Vaio models.

However, after closely monitoring the situation, Sony has now determined that a very small percentage of computers with the Nvidia graphics chips may be affected.

These PCs may exhibit distorted video, random characters or a blank screen due to failure of the Nvidia graphics chips.

As part of our commitment to quality, for any customer who requires repair of their Vaio due to the Nvidia graphics processor issue, Sony will cover the cost of repair (parts and labor) at no charge during the first four years following the date of purchase of the models in question (see list below).

In case your model is shown in the list below, we invite you to contact Vaio support to arrange service for your Vaio.

  • VGN-FZ11x, VGN-FZ18x, VGN-FZ21x, VGN-FZ31x, VGN-FZ38x,
  • VGN-AR11x, VGN-AR21x, VGN-AR31x,
  • VGN-C1Zx, VGN-C2Zx,
  • VGC-LM1xx, VGC-LM2xx,
  • VGC-LT1xx, VGC-LT2xx.

Nvidia recently revealed that the faulty GPU cost its business $119.1 million in the last quarter. Were you affected by the Nvidia faulty GPU flaw? If so, and it was a Vaio, at least now you're covered!

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jay236
    4 years? I'm only getting a crappy 2 years coverage from Dell...however I guess there's nothing to be jealous about since manufacturers only replace it with another defective refurbished board.
  • ta152h
    Anyone stupid enough to get something from Nvidia deserves what they get. They have nice features, and sometimes good performance, but they also have more problems than Intel solutions. Only for hobbyists, who don't mind the extra attention they need, do they make sense. For the general public, who play solitaire, and spades, Intel is just a better solution. Fewer problems, better support, and a much surer future. Nvidia will be belly-up soon, with AMD and Intel integrating more into their processors, and Nvidia not being allowed to make Nehalem/Lynnfield compatible chipsets. Discrete graphics will be all they can sell into, and that's a lot smaller a market than they can sell into today. I doubt they'll make it, but let's see if their obnoxious CEO is as clever as he says they are. You never know.
  • rpmrush
    Nvidia will be around. The green team is strong and innovative. What kind of attention does Nvidia graphics require? I'm running a 9600GTM 1GB in this laptop now. It runs cool and quiet. I'm running an Nvidia card in my desktop as well. Understandably, mobile graphics cards had heat issues. ATI had issues as well. They weren't near as popular in the mobile market. Power and heat efficieny are up and mobile technologies are finally maturing. ATI and Nvidia have decent offerings. Nvidia is stepping up to their mistake. It took a minute, but no biz is quick to throw themselves under the bus.
  • gcolefla
    now all I need is for Asus to step up to the plate. I have a $1000 laptop with a faulty 8600 gt waiting to be fixed. They would not help me out at all.
  • matchboxmatt
    This stuff reminds me of Sony's bad battery incident. Every other company that has to issue a recall is gonna have costumers that feel spurned from having a defective product.

    You can pay all the money in the world to fix your mistake, but you can't buy back the customer's trust. Just feels like they should take extra steps to prevent stuff like this from happening.
  • Zoonie
    Finally! We VAIO owners have been screaming our lungs out for this one!
  • techguy378
    Nvidia thoroughly tested the specific model of GPU chips that were being used in the affected Sony laptops and found absolutely no problems whatsoever. I'm not sure what Sony is talking about since Nvidia knows these chips a lot better than Sony does.
  • I think it's important to note that although HP put up their hand regarding the Nvidia problem some time ago, they only consented to fixing laptops that had the defective chip + an AMD processor. Everyone with a dodgy Nvidia chip + an Intel processor has been left out in the cold.

    Their own forums are teeming with upset users and dedicated sites such as have been set up to highlight HP's terrible customer support on the issue. I am one of the many thousands with an expensive paperwieght. Thanks HP.

    At least Dell, Apple and Sony are fixing all laptops with the defective chip.
  • Zoonie
    techguy378Nvidia thoroughly tested the specific model of GPU chips that were being used in the affected Sony laptops and found absolutely no problems whatsoever. I'm not sure what Sony is talking about since Nvidia knows these chips a lot better than Sony does.
    I seriously hope you're being sarcastic. That was Sony's excuse for not offering any support until now.
  • howardp6
    HP is only allowing two years, by the time my HP DV3000 had issues it was out of extended wanrantee, For the ones with motherboards that were defective, but showed no issues right away HP had a BIOs the boosted the fan speed at the expense of battery life, so the mother boards would last long enough to be out of the extended period. So much for the largest PC marketer. NVidia initially denied any responsibility.