Sony is recalling about 73,000 VAIO TZ-series defective notebook computers because they can overheat and cause a fire, posing a burn hazard to consumers. According to an article on Consumeraffairs.com, irregularly positioned wires near the computer’s hinge and/or dislodged screws inside the hinge can lead to the overheating problem. So far, the company has received 15 reports of these product defects. One consumer even suffered burn injuries as a result of the overheating.

The notebook computer models that have been recalled include the VAIO VGN-TZ100 series, VGN-TZ200 series, VGN-TZ300 series and VGN-TZ2000 series. The recall is being conducted with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Here’s their safety alert.

Not all units of these models are included in the recall. But those who own any of these laptop models are asked to contact Sony to find out if their laptop is included in the recall. If their unit has been affected, Sony officials say the company will arrange for an inspection, and if needed, a repair. The computers were manufactured in Japan and the United States and sold for prices between $1,700 and $4,000 in SonyStyle stores and their Web site between July 2007 and August 2008.

Those in need of more information are asked to call Sony at 1-888-526-6219 or visit the company’s Web site at www.sony.com/support.

This is not the first recall for Sony VAIO laptops. In October 2006, Sony recalled about 340,000 lithium ion laptop batteries that had the potential for overheating and causing fires. Two consumers suffered burn injuries as a result of those defective batteries and 16 incidents of overheating were reported at the time.

There are obviously some quality control issues that Sony has to deal with here. It will be a challenge for them to get the word out to consumers who are still using these defective products. Overheated laptops or lithium batteries could cause major burn injuries. It is indeed fortunate that no one has been seriously injured by these defective Sony laptops.