updated 11:29 am EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Panasonic-sourced battery at fault for three reported overheating incidents
Sony is warning owners of its Vaio Fit 11A notebook to stop using the computer, because of potentially hazardous battery issues. Non-removable batteries produced by Panasonic used in approximately 26,000 of the notebooks apparently have the potential to overheat, risking physical damage to the outside casting the possibility of catching fire.
Three incidents have been reported to Sony so far, reports the Wall Street Journal, with users in Japan, Hong Kong, and China being affected. Sony has responded by asking for notebooks with the model number starting SVF11N1 to shut down and unplug the computer for the moment. The manufacturer claims it is identifying affected notebooks by serial number and developing a program to repair or replace the notebook, or refund at its purchase price, and hopes to provide further details about the program within the next two weeks.
Sony Vaio Fit
A total of 25,905 notebooks are affected globally, with the majority sold in the Asia-Pacific region. Elsewhere, approximately 500 were sold in the United States, 5,600 in Latin America, and 7,000 in Europe.
A spokesperson for Panasonic confirmed to the reports that it provided Sony with the batteries. While the company will not reveal which other manufacturers use Panasonic batteries in their notebooks, citing it as confidential, the spokesperson did advise the batteries are customized depending on the client and their requirements, and that there are no reported issues with batteries supplied elsewhere.
The battery issue is a disappointing end to the Vaio line for Sony, as it is one of the last notebook produced under the brand before the manufacturer sells its PC business. The sale to Japan Industrial Partners, thought to be worth around $490 million, will apparently allow Sony to concentrate on its stronger mobile business. The company is also planning to spin off its television arm as part of its financial recovery strategy.