The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning to consumers who have purchased Sony's VAIO Flip PC laptops with model number (product name) SVF11N13CXS. Owners of this laptop should immediately stop using the device, shut it down, unplug it and contact Sony for instructions on how to return the product for a free repair or a full refund.
The problem, according to the recall announcement, is that this particular laptop's lithium-ion battery can overheat, causing possible fire and burn hazards. "Sony is aware of four incidents, which occurred in Asia, of computers overheating, resulting in units smoking, catching on fire and melting," states the warning. "No injuries have been reported."
Affected laptops were sold between February 2014 and April 2014 for around $800 USD. These laptops have a Panasonic-manufactured lithium-ion battery, a backlit keyboard and a folding touch screen measuring 11.6- inches diagonally. The VAIO logo is etched on the outer top near the hinge.
"The model and serial numbers are printed on a black label with white lettering on the underside of the screen. To locate the label, consumers should open the computer, move the switch from the lock to the release position and flip the display," states the warning.
Consumers with this laptop can contact Sony toll-free at (866) 702-7669(866) 702-7669 anytime. Customers can also contact Sony online. Click on the "Support" tab, click on "Electronics" and then on "Product Support." Once there, click on the "Computers & Tablets" tab, then on "VAIO Laptops & Desktops" and scroll down to "Product Alerts."
Sony sold off the VAIO brand to Japanese company Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), with the deal closing on July 1, 2014. Even though the brand was sold due to poor sales, Sony still retains a 5 percent stake in the company and will continue to sell VAIO products via its online stores.
Around 680 laptops are affected by the battery issue.