Feeds

Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper

The perils of having Panasonic as a partner

Security for virtualized datacentres

If you're one of the few people who bought a Sony VAIO Fit 11A laptop/tablet convertible unit in the last few months, you need to unplug it immediately and step away from the system, Sony has warned.

"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," said the troubled Japanese zaibatsu in a recall notice.

The laptops went on sale in February and are the last to bear Sony's VAIO brand. The company said three cases of overheating had been reported so far and, in all, over 25,000 systems will have to be returned for replacement or repair.

Sony said that around half of the afflicted laptops, which the company ceased selling at the start of the month, were sold in the Far East, with another 7,000 being shipped to European markets. Sony sold just 500 units to the US market, but users are advised to check the serial numbers of their system just to be on the safe side.

Panasonic confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that it supplied the built-in batteries to Sony for this model as part of an outsourcing contract. None of the other companies it supplies with batteries have reported any similar problems, a spokeswoman said, noting that the Sony supplies were a custom job for this particular laptop.

It's not the first time VAIO's have had problems. Sony was forced to recall some systems in 2006 after the batteries it used – and that were supplied to many other manufacturers – proved to be faulty and prone to ignition. It also issued partial VAIO recalls in 2003, 2008, and 2009 for electrical and chip problems.

The VAIO, introduced in 1997, was Sony's premium laptop line and achieved a lot of success thanks to a mixture of raw grunt, tiny form factor, and stylish design. The laptops came at a significant price premium, which consumers were happy to pay for a while, but they fell out of favor as cheap and stylish systems from other manufacturers came online and netbooks cannibalized the small-computer market.

Last month Sony announced it was selling off its entire laptop line to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), dropping manufacturing in favor of concentrating on the tablet and mobile phone markets. Ever since 2009 the company has been in financial trouble, and is slimming down its operations to profitable business units only. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.