"A very limited number" of three 40in Sony BRAVIA LCD TV models sold during 2007 and 2008 could in rare cases "over-heat and ignite", emitting smoking and melting the TV's rear plastic casing. Sony has voluntarily initiated a repair program, with in-house inspections of possibly-affected televisions.
Sony today sent out a press release advising of the inspection and repair program, with the information also appearing on the Australian Competition and Consumer Comission's Product Safety Recalls Web site. A representative of Sony Australia was unable to confirm the number of televisions affected in Australia to GoodGearGuide, but a BusinessWeek report states that 1.6 million BRAVIA TVs worldwide are affected.
The problem is reportedly restricted to three models of BRAVIA TV in Australia, with the transformer for the television's fluorescent backlight the component at fault. Transformers are widely used in electrical devices to convert mains power voltage into lower operating voltages, and produce heat as a byproduct of imperfect conversion. Sony Australia technicians will repair affected televisions in-house if necessary so no replacement or loan TVs will be granted to customers.
The BRAVIA XBR, BRAVIA X3100, and BRAVIA W3100 affected represent the premium, mid-range and budget models within Sony's 2007-2008 model line-up respectively, with the top-of-the-line 40in BRAVIA XBR costing $3799 on its July 2007 release — flat-panel television prices have plummeted in recent years with a similarly-sized premium TV now costing less than $1500.
Sony will dispatch technicians to perform in-house inspections and repairs on customers' TVs. Any customer with a BRAVIA XBR, X3100 or W3100 who has either registered their product on the My Sony Web site or who has taken out a warranty through Sony will be contacted by letter, and any customer owning one of these TVs has been advised to contact Sony's Customer Support Centre on 1300 13 7669 to arrange an inspection. Unsurprisingly, the Product Safety Recalls Web site advises any customer with an abnormally-performing TV to immediately unplug it and contact Sony.