Sony has issued a voluntary recall for 1.6 million Bravia HDTVs following reports of a defect that poses a fire risk. The move was prompted after a TV caught fire in Japan last month, though that was only one of 11 similar incidents reported in the country since 2008.
Sony believes only certain 40-inch Bravia models manufactured during 2007 and 2008 are affected, including the KDL-40V3000, KDL-40VL130, KDL-40W3000, KDL-40WL135, KDL-40XBR4, and KDL-40XBR5. You'll find the model on your warranty card or the back of your TV.
The issue stems from a faulty backlight component that can overheat and melt a hole in the cabinet ceiling or even ignite. Fortunately, there have been no injuries or major property damage but Sony is urging customers to unplug their TV and seek assistance if they notice anything unusual, such as a strange smell or noise.
Folks with one of those units are eligible for a "free evaluation" by one of Sony's designated service technicians. You can schedule the visit here or call 888-868-7389. If the tech finds an issue, your TV will be repaired at no charge. Although the issue has only been recorded in Japan, affected models have been sold worldwide.
A spokeswoman speaking with Bloomberg said the recall would barely dent Sony's earnings, but we imagine the company's brand image and overall consumer satisfaction is at an all-time low. Last year the company announced a similar repair service for its Bravia TV stands because weak screws caused some models to collapse.
Shortly thereafter, Sony recalled 535,000 Viao notebooks with an overheating issue. Just last month, KDDI recalled two million cell phones because of defective lithium ion batteries produced by Sony. Of course, this is in addition to the ongoing security mishaps and other privacy controversies surrounding its online services.