Sony Corp. said on Thursday it would recall about 18,000 Vaio laptop computers globally, including 13,000 in Japan, due to the risk of a small electric shock caused by faulty modems.
The consumer electronics maker also said about 3,000 Vaio laptops it shipped in the U.S. and about 2,000 in Europe are subject to the technical glitches and owners are entitled to a free repair.
Sony said it had estimated the global recall would cost it 500 million yen (U.S. $4.24 million), 0.01 percent of the sales of its electronics division in the 2002 business year, but the figure had not yet been finalized.
The laptop affected by the recall is the FR series, or FRV in the U.S, a popular model with a large screen and with a price starting around $1,500.
Mary McEvoy, a spokeswoman for Sony in the U.S, said a user could receive a shock such as that from static electricity if "you have connected your PC (laptop) to external power, you have disabled your phone line, (while) simultaneously being connected to a grounded peripheral, and you are touching a metal part of the PC, and your phone rings".
There had been no injuries, McEvoy said, and fewer than 10 complaints had been received.
Sony said registered customers will be notified by e-mail and a notice may be posted on the support section of its web site. (Reuters)
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