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Sony Recalls Half Million Vaio Laptops

At least 30 laptops have been reported to overheat causing casings and keyboards to warp and reaching temperatures hot enough to burn users.

Sony has recalled more than a half-million Vaio laptops that could get hot enough to warp the computers and burn users.

The recall affects F- and C-Series Vaios sold between January and April of this year through a variety of business suppliers and retailers, including Best Buy, Costco, Frys, Amazon and Sony Style stores and Web site. The systems were sold for between $800 and $1,500.

In the United States, the recall involved 233,000 laptops, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has published a list of the models affected by the recall. The defective Vaios also were sold in Europe, Asia and Japan.

Sony has received at least 30 reports of laptops overheating, causing the keyboards and casings to warp. No injuries have been reported, however, the notebooks could get hot enough to burn the user, the CPSC said. The computers were manufactured in China and the United States.

Sony has released an update to the computers' BIOS firmware that will prevent the systems from overheating. The fix can be downloaded through Sony's support site or through the Vaio Update software that comes with the systems. Customers can also take the computers to a Sony store to have the update installed.

Due to the cramped environment of laptops, flaws in design or components often results in overheating. Among the most common source of heating problems is the lithium-ion battery used in laptops.

In 2006, Sony embarked on a massive recall of laptop batteries used by Sony and sold to other computer makers, including Apple, Dell, Lenovo, HP and Toshiba. Overall, more than 10 million Sony batteries were recalled worldwide at a cost of more than $429 million.

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