If you bought a Sony Vaio Fit 11A last February, you’ll want to stop using it as soon as possible. Sony issued a warning this morning (Reuters) that Vaios purchased this past February are catching fire around the battery area.
The computers have been shipped to 30,000 people in over 50 countries, so there’s a very good chance that the Vaio you are using (if bought in February) is a serious fire risk - Panasonic created the battery pack in question.
What to Do
If you aren’t sure whether or not your Fit 11A hybrid laptop is a danger, head to the Sony website. The company has put up a serial number checker, so that you can simply plug in the serial number on your laptop and see whether or not you need to stop using your laptop.
Sony has told the public that a different course of action should be taken depending on where you live, so make sure to check out that serial number in order to figure out what to do with your current useless laptop.
It’s never a good thing when a serious health risk like this one pops up. Bad PR like this (and, yes, there is such a thing as bad press!) often leads to consumer skepticism. In Sony’s case, the news is, indeed, bad, but it’s even worse because Sony is about to sell its PC division to Japan Industrial Partners.
This Japanese investment group is set to purchase the PC side of Sony operations, and will be manufacturing the company’s Vaio production soon. With this new news, though, there’s no telling what kind of new negotiation Japan Industrial Partners might make with Sony, or if the company will continue the deal.
Is Your Laptop At Risk?
If you haven’t heard of the Fit 11A, that’s likely because this hybrid system wasn’t popular in the United States or elsewhere in North America. That said, there are some Fit 11A hyrbrids floating around out there, but it’s not too likely that you will have one of the problematic laptops. If you live outside of North America, however, you may have one of these hybrids or know someone that does. While recalls aren’t uncommon at all, some consumers blame Sony’s recent cutting of corners for the problem.
News that a laptop can catch fire is never a good thing, and it’s a fast way to strike fear into the hearts of consumers. Sony can bounce back from this one by distancing itself from the Vaio name. If the company states that the Vaio products are now out of its hands, consumers may be able to trust Sony once again. Then again, it all depends on how the press is handled with this mess up. Sony laptops haven’t been selling well in North America, and this news is sure to send those sales plummeting even further.
If you do own a Fit 11A laptop, do make sure to stop using it at once. Even if you don’t leave the laptop unattended, this fire risk is too dangerous to mess around with.