Sony is recalling about 73,000 Vaio laptops because faulty wiring near a hinge could pose a burn hazard.

The recall was jointly announced by Sony and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The commission recommended that consumers immediately stop using VAIO TZ-series notebook computers.

According to the commission, Sony has received 15 reports of overheating, one of which burned a consumer. Either the wiring problem, which is near computer's hinge, or a loose screw in the hinge can cause a short circuit that then causes the overheating.

The recalled laptop models are the Vaio VGN-TZ100 series, the VGN-TZ200 series, the VGN-TZ300 series and the VGN-TZ2000 series. The computers' screen size measured diagonally is about 11.1 inches. The machines in question were sold between July 2007 and August 2008, according to the commission.

Not all units are problematic. Users can go to this website and input their product code and serial number, which can be found on the bottom of the computer. If users find that their laptops have the problem, they can make arrangements online for an inspection.

Mike Abary, a senior vice president at Sony, said in an online notice that the company will offer a free inspection and possibly on-site repair at the user's home or office. Users also can ship their laptops in to a service centre for repair.

Last year, Toshiba urged its customers to trade in potentially flammable laptop batteries, after a Toshiba notebook caught fire in May 2007. Acer has also previously announced recalls for 27,000 potentially-flammable laptop batteries. A fire, that destroyed a single-family home in Maine in 2007, was blamed on a Dell laptop that was plugged in and re-charging.