San Diego — Sony Electronics said it issued a “voluntary request for the return of product” on two new Vaio notebook PC models containing faulty modems.
The company said the defect affects approximately 3,000 units in the United States, with Reuters reporting that a total of 18,000 units are affected worldwide.
According to a spokeswoman, Sony received reports of “slower-than-desired communication speeds” on laptop models PCG FRV25 and PCG FRV27 that shipped last month. When the company performed its own tests on the products it found that the modem could also cause a small shock to users under limited conditions.
“When the notebook is connected to a phone line and the consumer is touching a metal part of the PC and the consumer is grounded and simultaneously the phone rings, they can receive a type of shock similar to a common static shock,” said the spokeswoman.
The problem stemmed from a manufacturing issue in the modem, she added.
Sony said it is contacting owners of the affected notebooks. Consumers can also call a customer support hotline at (800) 880-9743. If the unit qualifies, Sony will pay for repairs and shipping and will extend the product warranty by one year.
Sony said there have been no cases of injury from the faulty modems.