San Diego - A spokesman for
U.S. operations confirmed Wednesday that about 400,000 units of 40-inch Bravia LCD TVs sold in the U.S. since 2007 could be at risk of overheating and catching fire in extremely rare circumstances.
However, while the same sets have been recalled for the problem in Japan, Sony is leaving it up to customers who own the sets to determine if they would like to have the TVs inspected and repaired -- if required. Sony said there have been no reports of the problem existing in the U.S. to date.
News reports circulated from Japan Tuesday of the Japanese trade ministry's request for Sony to issue a recall of certain televisions sold domestically, following an incident in September in which a set caught fire following damage to "a particular component" part.
According to reports, the component part was associated with the sets' backlighting system.
Eleven similar overheating incidents were reported in Japan since 2008, reports said.
Sony's U.S. representatives issued a statement Wednesday saying that "in the wake of the incidents and the trade ministry's request, Sony announced that the Bravia models were indeed at risk of overheating due to defective parts."
The recall only applies in Japan, but potentially affected sets sold in the U.S. and Europe will be inspected and addressed at users' requests.
Sony said it will dispatch service crews to inspect and repair (if necessary) any affected models. Sony will not issue refunds.
The problem only impacts a handful of 40-inch Bravia LCD TV models. These include the following: KDL-40V3000, KDL-40VL130, KDL-40W3000, KDL-40WL135, KDL-40XBR4, and KDL-40XBR5.
Sony said it "has sold nearly 400,000 of these TVs in the U.S. and no incidents have been reported to date."
"While we have no reports of any resulting damages to other property or bodily injuries, Sony offers all customers of the affected models a free in-home evaluation for the covered product," Sony Electronics U.S. operations said in a statement issued Wednesday.
U.S. customers who have a covered TV can visit
or call toll-free (888) 868-7389 to schedule a dedicated service technician to perform an evaluation.
"Sony is committed to addressing this issue proactively as we stand behind our promise of quality and reliability," a statement from the U.S. office reads.