Sony Recalls Millions of TVs for Fire Hazard

Sony Corp. just issued a massive recall for all of its Bravia flat-panel TVs sold globally since 2007. The recall involved 1.6 million televisions over a faulty component that could pose a fire hazard.

Following an incident last month in which a consumer noticed a small fire and smoke, Sony recalled the liquid-crystal display TVs, said Yuki Shima, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman Sony, said Bloomberg Businessweek. Sony is the world’s third-largest television maker. To date, 11 incidents have been reported in Japan since 2008, said Businessweek, citing a company statement. No injuries have been reported.

The culprit appears to be a defective component in the television’s backlit system; the component can melt the TV’s top, said Shima. This is the second recall of Sony products in a month. The other recall, with KDDI Corp.—Japan’s second-largest mobile-phone operator—in which KDDI said it would replace Sony-manufactured batteries in about 2 million devices over overheating and melting issues, said Businessweek.

“Sony-related recalls are following one another, and that may ruin the company’s brand image,” said Keita Wakabayashi, an analyst at Mito Securities Co. The same transformer is used in the five Sony Bravia models in Japan that are involved in the recall, said a Sony statement, according to Businessweek.

The Sony Bravia is 40-inch model that is sold in a variety of regions, including China, the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe; repair will be conducted if faulty parts are found, said Businessweek. Sony will send a crew to inspect sets, said Shima. Should a part be needed, Sony said it will offer TV rental while the repair is conducted, said TechNewsWorld.

Sony will not be offering refunds or replacements, noted Shima. “It could impact the stock negatively if the recall causes a significant amount of expense,” Wakabayashi pointed out.

Although the recalls are global, no overheating reports have been received outside of Japan. And, while this is Sony’s first flat-screen TV recall, this is the first recall in the Bravia line, said Businessweek.

In April 2010, Sony announced it would repair stands on two models because the screws were not strong enough to prevent the stands to collapse. Just after, said Businessweek, Sony recalled 535,000 Vaio personal computers over possible overheating linked to a temperature-control defect, said Businessweek.

The Washington Post reported that the following models are involved and that if an abnormality is noticed in these units, to turn the TV off, unplug the unit, and contact Sony:

• KDL-40V3000
• KDL-40VL130
• KDL-40W3000
• KDL-40WL135
• KDL-40XBR4
• KDL-40XBR5

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