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Sony in laptop battery alert

Hong Kong, April 11: Sony today warned of the potential for batteries to burn or catch fire in some of its new Vaio laptop computers and asked owners of the units in question to stop using them immediately.

Sony said there have been three reports so far of problems with the internal batteries of its new Vaio Fit 11A, a laptop that converts into a tablet, where overheating resulted in partial burns to the housing of the unit.

It is not the first time that Sony has had issues with batteries overheating. In 2006, computer makers, including Dell and Apple, launched high-profile recalls of millions of laptops after it emerged that their batteries, which were made by Sony, were at risk of overheating and catching fire.

The current problem appears much smaller by comparison, and the batteries in question were not manufactured by Sony.

In its statement, Sony said not all of the 11As appear to be affected, but only certain units that used non-detachable internal battery packs sourced from an unnamed third-party supplier. The product name written on the housing of the defective units begins with VF11N1 and is followed by four additional letters or numbers.

Anyone whose computer matches this description should “immediately discontinue use, shut down and unplug the PC”, Sony said. The company said it would develop a programme within the next two weeks to repair or replace the affected units free of charge, or to refund the purchase price. “We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” it said.

 
 
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