Sony has begun a free test & repair program for certain models in its VAIO TZ range, after a fault in the screen hinge can cause dangerous overheating. Apparently in excess of 200 notebooks have overheated, with seven people suffering light burns. The program affects any TZ bought between May 2007 and July 2008, and has so far been announced in the US, UK and Hong Kong.
"Irregularly positioned wires near the computer's hinge and/or a dislodged screw inside the hinge can cause a short circuit and overheating. This poses a burn hazard to consumers"
Sony will assess and, if necessary, repair the notebook free of charge. Some users are reporting that the company has offered them in-home checks, though its unclear whether repairs - if necessary - will also be done locally or require the TZ to be sent away.
The company also extends the warranty by two years once the TZ has been checked over. Owners can see whether their notebook is affected by the program, and schedule a test appointment, by entering their serial number and product code at the relevant site; more details here for the US, here for the UK and here for Hong Kong.