/ Technology

Good on Sony for swift TV “recall”, but can it keep it up?

Following the revelation that some Bravia LCD TV models could be at risk of overheating, Sony is offering free engineer inspections and repairs for 1.6 million TVs. But will it be able to cope with the demand?

With the news that as many as 1.6 million Sony Bravia LCD TVs could overheat, UK owners are being urged to check their model numbers to see if they’re affected.

The alert was first raised after a series of incidents in Japan, where overheating TVs emitted smoke and internal parts even started to melt.

The affected “smoking” models are available worldwide, including in the UK, forcing Sony to respond to the issue on a global scale.

The Sony Bravia LCD TV models at risk

Sony has announced that the affected models are 40-inch Bravia LCD TVs from its 2007-2008 range. The full list of models at risk are below:

  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 D3400
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 D3500
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 D3660
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 V3000
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 W3000
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 X3000
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40 X3500

If you own one of the TVs that is considered at risk, you should contact Sony’s product support team on 0844 846 6555. Alternatively, contact your local Sony Centre.

Sony offers free inspection and repair

Now for the good news – Sony is responding to this issue by offering a free engineer service to any customers who own one of the affected models. We spoke directly to Sony’s product support team, who told us that an engineer will visit your house for free, and if a fault is identified, a repair will be offered at no charge.

While this is a potentially dramatic product fault, Sony seems to be responding quickly and on a large scale. It’s no small offering to provide free inspection and repair to as many as 1.6 million customers. This should act as an example to other companies faced with a similar situation.

However, when an alert was raised earlier this year over Beko fridge-freezers developing a fault that could make them a dangerous fire-hazard, a flurry of commenters here on Which? Conversation complained that Beko’s customer service was so strained it was unable to offer immediate support to concerned customers phoning up.

A number of commenters told us that it had taken them days to get through to Beko’s support line, and even then they still had to wait over a week for an engineer to actually visit them.

With as many as 1.6 million Sony TVs potentially affected, I’m left wondering whether Sony’s customer support network may face similar strains.

Do you own one of the TV models affected? If so, have you tried to contact Sony’s customer support yet, and with any success?

Karinakel says:
10 May 2012

Yes I have sent to Head Of Customer Services – reply I received was ‘as this was not an on line purchase I will have to send to another department’ No details given as to whom but hopefully that kind of advice wont be given out again.

Ripped off by Sony says:
18 May 2012

I have a KDL 40 X3500 , Sony’s top model at the time I bought it .It has terrible ghosting and picture loss, I believe this is a TAB fault, apparantly a tab in the top corner overheats , its due to bad bonding or similar, MANY have reported to Sony but THEY DENY THERE IS a problem .How did desidub fare ? I believe I bought my set in the same retail outlet in Dublin where he purchased his. We are being ripped off by Sony. Its time for a collective action on this .There is strength in numbers and we need to unite to fight this issue .I heard that Sony in North America have acknowledged the fault.I believe there are 5 or 6 different Sony sets effected by this ghosting/picture loss fault. What are we going to do about it? Is Sony going to rob us all blind and are we just going to take it like lame sheep? ITS TIME FOR ACTION

Keith Towers says:
20 July 2012

How swift is swift? I have owned a KDL 40 V3000 for just over 4 years and it took research for sudden shadowy areas appearing on my lcd panel to find this problem. My tv has always given off a lot of heat and is more like an electric radiator than a tv set. I accepted this as normal and it stands in a well ventilated area. It hasn’t smoked yet, but I wouldn’t put it past bursting into flames at some point in time. I am very disappointed with Sony and will ring them today. I will point them towards this article and see what they say. If I get no joy I will come back and make a complaint through this website. If no joy I will happy to join in on any private action should Sony try to weedle out of it. I am angry that customers were not told about this sooner via mass media, such as tv.

RobinT says:
20 July 2012

sony have weedled out of it. We are on our own!

Eric the Cat says:
20 July 2012

We bought our KDL 40V3000 in April 2008, it started showing shadowy grey lines last November.
I called Sony last week and they quickly sent out an engineer who said there was an LCD panel failure which was common in this model. he also said that our set didn’t have the fault that made it overheat and burn. Estimate for repair £570- new LCD panel needed.
My set is now over 4 years old – I have just written to Sony requesting a repair or replacement as it has a known fault.I also said that the fault must have been there from manufacture as so many others have the same issue.
Will let you know how it goes

Ian says:
2 August 2012

I purchased a KDL 40V300 in 2008 and have it has developed the same issue with shadowy areas on the screen.
After many e-mails I was phoned by a “Supervisor” from Sony support who said there is no known issue with this model and that they will do nothing about it. His advice was that I take it to a Sony repair centre, but that it would be chargeable repair. I’m about to write a letter to Sony but it does not sound as though it will make any difference. Has anybody managed to get them to take any positive action or ownership of this issue?

Keith Towers says:
20 July 2012

Eric, I purchased mine in 2008 too. If it turns out that this is a known issue then under the sales of goods act it will have been ‘unfit for purpose’. It certainly is worth getting Sony to admit this in writing.

Ripped off by Sony says:
20 July 2012

How about somebody starting a Facebook page titled ” Ripped off by Sony ” who has the technology to do it ALSO a Youtube video with the same title would be very useful to gather numbers to collectively complain and make the media pay attention

Keith Towers says:
21 July 2012

I don’t think it is a case of being ripped off by Sony, but more a case of accountancy retards trying to improve the bottom line all the time. Sony, like most businesses worldwide, have been caught up for the past decade in two factors – 1), trying to fulfil a rush of sales at a time people were faced with the digital switchover, and thus having to go to cheap LCD panel manufacturers to keep up with orders; and 2), now caught up in the economic downturn they are struggling to keep their profits stable. Who are the losers in all this? Sony’s customers in the short term, but Sony domestic in the long term as people begin to shift their loyalties. Japan won the commercial war by being less expensive and better quality than anyone else. My guess is that combination for success is now passing Japan by, as other backwater countries begin to emerge with even better products. IMO we are going back to the days when to buy anything marked ‘Made in Japan’ was a bit of a joke and meant buying cheap tacky rubbish. My question is: what is Sony going to do about this problem to get back its once good name for quality? Same as Toyota and the other big names I suppose – nothing! What these big Japanese electronics companies should be doing is going back to their routes, sacking all accountants who are CEO’S OF their businesses and immediately employ men and women who have the creative flare, entrepreneurial spirit of their founders. In the meantime I want my telly fixed and in good order for which I paid a lot of my hard earned money to get.

Hamza says:
12 August 2012

Is any 46 models affected

Brooksie says:
4 November 2012

we have a 46′ Bravia M- KDL46XBR4– 4yrs old. when you power up it has pic troubles. in the last year it has gotting worse.color lines,shadowy greyish double vision. some times turning the set of then back on works for now. this is a high doller set . NOT HAPPY AT ALL. Will be the last sony for me.

Ripped off by Sony says:
13 August 2012

Yes some 46 models are faulty also

Essexman says:
13 August 2012


I have Sony KDL-40P3020.

Shadow problem on screen that everyone is reporting. Set bought 2008 shadow been there sometime not sure when it first appeared. Tv has control buttons on the top surface.

Looks like all large lcd sony screens have the same problems???

Sony Complainant says:
11 September 2012

As there have been so many shadow issues for KDV-40V3000 and related set posted on this blog (yes I am a new one!) and Sony still deny that it is a known issue – can someone from Which? Explain to us what a definition of a “known issue” is and how do consumers force Electronic Mega-Giants to acknowledge them.


Keith Towers says:
11 September 2012

Well it hasn’t done me any good by complaining about it. Engineers came, admitted there was a shadow but said it wasn’t for them to make a comment on. The heat problem was, they said, within the guide lines Sony give them. They did their checks, went away and that was that. I contacted Sony and they tried to pass the buck elsewhere and when I asked for the email address of the UK CEO they ignored my request. I have sent two emails since asking them for the email address of the CEO and they have ignored them both. So much for Sony’s customer relations department – it does not exist. Crap television manufacturers employ staff who consider their own jobs before the customer’s satisfaction. No wonder they are going down hill with their consumer division. I’m not at all surprised. Here’s one ex customer who will never return.! Mr CEO you should take a good look at your customer care department and its management very closely.

Desijay says:
12 November 2012

Bought Sony kdlv3000u in November 2007 from Sony Centre Trafford Centre Spent £1450 with 5 year Warranty. I have shadow problems to spoke to Sony on Friday they sent engineer out to look at the the recall problem. Was not interested with the shadow problem. So i called Sony back they said i must speak to Sonex a company that went into administration worrying thought I Purchased it from Sony.
The Phone number Sony gave me to contact Sonex is 0844243395 was a dead line. Searched for alternative number and found 0844245595 was closed. Will call them tomorrow and keep Every one posted.

Keith says:
12 November 2012

You are wasting your time speaking to Sony. They do not want to be, or just can’t be bothered with customer problems under any circumstances. I will run another year with my Bravia 40 inch and then buy a new set. Most likely I will go with Samsung. What I won’t buy again is Sony, no matter how good they may be with their latest TV sets, or any other product that I am likely to buy in the future, such as cameras and sound equipment. As a company they have proved to me they just don’t care about their customers. Once they have your money in their bank account that’s where the relationship ends. Even if it is the same with Samsung, I won’t touch Sony again with a barge pole. Their stuff is obviously crap. As far as customer services go the only thing they do well is pass the buck onto someone else. Useless company.

I have SONY KDL 40W 4500 with similar problem, horizontal lines and double image. I bought it in Nov 2008 and has been having problem for about an year. I thought it is because of sky box. This blog has made me aware of the problem and it seems there is no solution other than to throw this set away. Shame on SONY, it is not the way any company like SONY should behave.

Toon says:
8 January 2013

I have a Sony Kdl40v3000 I got about 4 years ago from a Sony centre, it has a cloud like shadow over part of the screen.
It turns out that sonnex the company that ran the Sony centres has gone bust since I got my tv however Sony are honouring their 5 year guarantee anyway!
Engineer came out free of charge to check the TV and its now been replaced with a new Sony Kdl40ex653!
I’m very happy with Sony.

Richey Roo says:
7 May 2013

I too have a Bravia 42″, not sure of the model number. Bought it in Dec ’08, its had a shadow on the screen for about 6 months. Is it worth contacting Sony? Looking at the comments on here i doubt it.

Keith Towers says:
8 May 2013

So, then, after all these negative posts, mine included, why hasn’t Which passed them on to Sony? Surely there are enough complaints here for Sony to do something positive for a change. It’s the same over at the Sony forum: http://www.sony.co.uk/discussions/thread/117239?start=75&tstart=0

page after page of complaints, and not a whisper from Sony. I don’t think any of these problems will be sorted out by them and people will pay out good money for a TV that is really fit for purpose. They just don’t seem to care one little bit and I personally feel sick about it. It’s not often one has 1k plus to spend on a TV set. I won’t be caught out again either. And to rub salt in the wound, for an audio electronics company, the sound on these TV sets isn’t that good either.

Thanks for all your comments. We are sensitive to the concerns raised, and will be putting them to Sony. We will report back as soon as we have a response.

Keith Towers says:
8 May 2013

Should have read “isn’t fit for purpose”.

Ripped off by Sony says:
9 May 2013

If Which delivered a truckload of negative comments to Sony they would ignore them. The series of bad Sony tv sets are being dated with the passage of time as new technology makes them look outmoded and unwanted . Our claims for replacements or compensation are also being muted and weakened . I bought a new Samsung flatscreen HD set which gave me a 5 year guarantee for little extra cost. I don’t want to get stung again, I could not stop my son buying a Sony james bond phone but it sickens me to see the name Sony anywhere now. I think I will just bring my Sony X 3500 ( which cost me 2950 Euro) to the recycling centre soon. The battle is lost .The war is over