1.6 Million Sony Bravia TVs Might Catch Fire, Free Inspection Offered

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Sony Bravia TV feeling a little warm to the touch? Haven’t had to heat the home because the TV’s keeping things toasty all by itself? Maybe it’s because your flatscreen has a hidden feature you didn’t know about, say something called “yuppie campfire.”

No? Still, it turns out there is a global problem with Sony Bravia-brand TVs sold since 2007, to the extent the Japan-based electronics-maker plans to offer free inspections for about 1.6 million of them. Note that nowhere in the last sentence does the word “recall” appear.

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Most reporting this story claim that Sony’s initiated a recall, but Sony denies it’s recalling anything, according to TechRadar UK, and says instead that while certain Bravia TVs may indeed contain a potentially faulty component capable of catching fire and melting part of the housing, the only thing they’re initiating is a program for free inspections of the following models:


Don’t bother checking if your Bravia’s not a 40-incher: The ’40’ in the KDL part numbers above indicates the affected screens are all 40-inch models.

The trouble involves a transformer “affected by a quality issue,” said a UK-based PR representative, adding that “in a rare number of cases [it] might over-heat and ignite inside the television and possibly result in the melting of the upper casing of the television.” The rep adds that, to date, no one’s reported being hurt, or of other property being damaged.

Okay, so not as dramatic as “your house might burn down,” but still a bit ugly. And yes, a few sets have actually manifested the problem in Japan, prompting Japan’s trade ministry to get involved and request that Sony address the issue pronto.

If you’re among the affected, keep any eye out for an email from Sony, or if you’re not registered, on Sony’s website, where the company’s said it plans to issue an advisory statement.

MORE: Can You Cut the Cord and Still Have a Big, Beautiful TV?

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.