VAIO CLASS ACTION SUIT - power unit

Monday, May 09, 2005

QUESTION & ANSWER

Email:
I have been trying to find out if there really is a class action lawsuit for sony vaio owners. So far I have only seen mentions of one, but no info on how to get involved. any info?

Answer:
The current requirement for a class action Suit is to have 100 persons registered with similar pain points. This new addendum is now posted to the Blog. We are at a count of 42 and growing fast since this blog.

Keep the subscription going, send me your details and we can all move forward togewther.

Hari

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

LETS STOP BUYING ANYTHING 'Sony'

We need to spread the word to family, friends, and everyone to

STOP BUYING SONY


Stop buying anything with the Sony brand on it.

If this represents their customer service then inform your family and friends of your own experiences.

I have a house full of Sony stuff, Television, VCR, DVD, Speakers, Handycam, VAIO
so I am the most guilty but lets collectively call for a stop now

Some new examples of complaints

These are simply cut-paste from emails

CUSTOMER 01
'my Vaio is old now- PCG-N505SN- but is very small and cute. And the battery hasn't been working for a very long time- it says 94% battery lifetime left to run but the machine won't recharge it or run off it.'

CUSTOMER 02.
I purchased two Sony Vaio Laptops (PCG FRV31, PCG FRV27) in August 2004. I now have one useless laptop (PCG FRV31) and another one that's probably on its way to being that way. I want action on this now.
Laptop Symptoms: Are As Follows
The Symptoms and the Issue:
Symptom 3
1. Push power button.
2. Green power LED comes on.
3. Harddrive and fan spin up.
4. Screen remains dark, the "Sony" logo never appears, there is no additional harddrive activity, and the computer is effectively dead although the green power LED stays on).

I want my computer fixed without a defective motherboard or my 1600.00 back for a known defective product.
DO YOU FACE ONE OF THESE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR VAIO Laptop

First I am compiling what I think the issue at hand is, then including notes I have received via email from various people.

Issue 1: The Sony design is defective
as it includes the power unit imbedded with the mother board. To the best of my knowledge no other manufacturer does this.
1.1 If power unit goes down you have to replace the whole mother board
1.2 A service engineer at Fry's told me in a single week 3 Vaio's had come in with the same problem. Multiply this with number of outlets selling SONY Vaio laptops and we probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of such complaints in a single month.
1.3 It cannot be possible that Sony is unaware of this issue at such a large scale. Even if this is accurate to a 10% factor it is a major issue

2. Defective Design details
2.1 The power unit is connected by micro cables so cannot be repaired - I know of someone that tried micro soldering and melted the connectors. So don't try that

2.2 I have used around 10 other Laptops / manufacturers never had a similar problem - so this is a Special VAIO only design. The question is whether this is a plan or defect.

2.3 SONY Vaio knew this and possibly banked on Motherboard replacement to keep up revenues - this is a subjective assumption. Though if VAIO knew about this prior to today and did not fix it then they are guilty by association by not (1) satisfying existing customers; (2) fixing the issue immediately; (3) recalling all defective models publicly as so many customer centric companies have done.

2.4 NOTICE TO SONY EMPLOYEES: If anyone works in Sony and saw similar reports / market surveys / emails / notices please email to us and we guarantee only to keep documents and delete sender track - unless the person authorizes us to show same

3. Lack of Customer care or service
3.1 Everyone of us has either contacted the distributor or Sony directly and not received any service to our satisfaction
3.2 If Sony declines knowledge of this, although I would like to see how they can explain themselves out of this one, then they DO NOT CARE
3.3 If they recognized and did not replace our units or apologize, or change designs they again DO NOT CARE

3.4 Let us together fix this lack of Customer service / care once for all and commence with a NO SONY revolution- and support its growth.

'NO MORE SONY IN MY HOUSE' REVOLUTION
Lets join hands and encourage our friends, families, co-workers, and the world to stop buying SONY products as they obviously do not care.
I began this 3 years ago and recently bought a Canon MINI DV Camera. 2 months later it gave me some problem, returned it - no questions asked - that I call service

My Laptop Symptoms: Are As Follows

Symptom 1
The usual problem is that the power unit shows a green light but the Via does not power up. So your battery goes to 0.00 and the system shuts down. No way around this.
When you try to restart it dies midway and shuts down again.

Symptom 2
The Vaio dies after 10 minutes despite the power being connected and power input confirmation.

Symptom 3
1. Push power button.
2. Green power LED comes on.
3. Harddrive and fan spin up.
4. Screen remains dark, the "Sony" logo never appears, there is no additional harddrive activity, and the computer is effectively dead although the green power LED stays on).

Symptom 4
I have a grx580 which developed similar problems last night. When I power it up, the power led (green) is lit, the battery led (yellow) blinks indicating it's charging, and the HD led (yellow) goes on for a second or two but then it goes out. The screen never comes up at all, but the green power led stays on and the battery led keeps blinking. Nothing happens until I hit the power switch for 4 seconds to power it off. Are you seeing similar problems to mine?


Symptom 5
I bought a Sony VAIO XG-18 in May of 2000. I have been having problems recently with the power supply. The battery monitor says that the battery is charging, but it shows 0%. When I disconnect the power supply (AC), the computer shuts down. I hope we can get enough people for this suit.

I know that Sony knows about this problem and I want an answer to how I can get my computer fixed for free, or 3500.00 back for both laptops.


CUSTOMER 03.

I am having the same problem with my vaio where the power light and HD light comes on but the screen never shows up or computer does not boot. Please let me know what you have found out or what everyone is doing about it. I ran across your site

CUSTOMER 04.
I have a Sony VAIO PCG-F450 with Symptom #3. Is this model also apart of
the suit?

CUSTOMER 05.
Please count me in. I had to replace my Vaio laptop. The laptop was less
than 2 years old and would be almost as much to fix the power supply as to
purchase a new one. Unfortunately, I did not buy the insurance which would
have replaced the machine. I purchased the laptop 06/02 from Fry's
Electronics is Sacramento, CA. Sony's attitude is basically "too bad" - I
had to purchase a new laptop in 02/04 because the computer would not start
at all, and was told that the power supply was bad.
Thanks so much for the email. Please keep me informed.
I will pass along the word

CUSTOMER 06
My Sony Vaio which I purchased in June of 2002 also has power problems and the technician told me that it is the controller on the motherboard. Did you have any luck with getting Sony to fix the problem? I am very interested in hearing from you. I am just sick about it and use my laptop a lot and don't want to have a $2000 laptop not work.

CUSTOMER 07.
I've been having trouble with my VAIO laptop unable to charge up and having power/motherboard issues. I was researching it on the web and found your posting on EzBoard in the VAIO forum. I agree with you that Sony needs to take some more responsibility for this kind of problem. Have you found some means to resolve the issue? If so I'd really like to get your two cents on the whole thing.

CUSTOMER 08.
Please let me know if anyone has come up with a solution to this problem. First time I had problem was 7 months (Nov 03) after purchasing. Problem was resolved at store where I purchased, so I did not send back to Sony. Problem occurred again recently. Sony won't honor warranty because of supposedly "liquid damage" and they said the box has been opened. I have "Never spilled anything on my laptop." When I stressed that point, they came back and said that the box had also been opened by unauthorized repair service. That part may be true because the technician at the store did note that he had repaired the receptacle when I had taken it back to the store for a backup. I had originally been told by the store that they could not repair, but they would back it up for me. The store was willing to support me with Sony's claim of liquid damage, but they are starting to get defensive about the repair that the technician made when the problem first occurred. Now I uncomfortable with having them check out the computer. Sony sent it back to me because I would not authorized $1267 repair estimate. Have not unpacked it and do not no where to turn at this point. Manufacturer's warranty expires 4//14/04. Don't know what I should expect with the extended warranty

CUSTOMER 09.
You know I have had the same problem with my Grx-550. Wanting to know if you have found a satisfactory answer from Sony. And if my only option is to get whole new motherboard and power supply? Thanks for posting that. I am really discouraged by this problem. My extended warranty is now over. Let me know what you have done

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Symptoms and the Issue

DO YOU FACE ONE OF THESE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR VAIO Laptop

First I am compiling what I think the issue at hand is, then including notes I have received via email from various people.

Issue 1: The Sony design is defective
as it includes the power unit imbedded with the mother board. To the best of my knowledge no other manufacturer does this.
1.1 If power unit goes down you have to replace the whole mother board
1.2 A service engineer at Fry's told me in a single week 3 Vaio's had come in with the same problem. Multiply this with number of outlets selling SONY Vaio laptops and we probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of such complaints in a single month.
1.3 It cannot be possible that Sony is unaware of this issue at such a large scale. Even if this is accurate to a 10% factor it is a major issue

2. Defective Design details
2.1 The power unit is connected by micro cables so cannot be repaired - I know of someone that tried micro soldering and melted the connectors. So dont try that

2.2 I have used around 10 other Laptoips / manufacturers never had a similar problem - so this is a Special VAIO only design. The question is whether this is a plan or defect.

2.3 SONY Vaio knew this and possibly banked on Motherboard replacement to keep up revenues - this is a subjective assumption. Though if VAIO knew about this prior to today and did not fix it then they are guilty by association by not (1) satisfying existing customers; (2) fixing the issue immediately; (3) recalling all defective models publicly as so many customer centric companies have done.

2.4 NOTICE TO SONY EMPLOYEES: If anyone works in Sony and saw similar reports / market surveys / emails / notices please email to us and we guarantee only to keep documents and delete sender track - unless the person authorizes us to show same

3. Lack of Customer care or service
3.1 Everyone of us has either contacted the distributor or Sony directly and not received any service to our satisfaction
3.2 If Sony declines knowledge of this, although I would like to see how they can explain themselves out of this one, then they DO NOT CARE
3.3 If they recogonize and did not replace our units or apologise, or change designs they again DO NOT CARE

3.4 Let us together fix this lack of Customer service / care once for all and commence with a NO SONY revolution- and support its growth.

'NO MORE SONY IN MY HOUSE' REVOLUTION
Lets join hands and encourage our friends, families, co-workers, adn the world to stop buying SONY products as they obviously do not care.
I began this 3 years ago and recently bought a Canon MINI DV Camera. 2 months later it gave me some problem, returned it - no questions asked - that I call service



3. The Sony Vaio power unit is defective as there are so many breaking all over the place.

4. I have converted from a SONY preacher to never SONY again with just their response to customer dissatisfaction - recommend we all do the same till Sony starts to listen to us - economies of scale in reverse



Here is a collection of what we jointly feel is the issue:
These are verbatum 'cut-&-paste' from emails I have received that represent the issue and the symptoms. I am not including any names or emails unless clearly specified by the person. I have every supporting email for every entry here, plus many more....keep it comming

Issue 1:
The sony Power connector is embedded into the motherboard. The power connector is defective and poorly designed.
If you send your Viao to Sony they will charge a $250 to see the problem and then recommend you spend close to 900 + to get the problem resolved. You again get a defective designed mother board.
If you opt for a NO you loose 250.

Issue 2:
I bought my Sony VIAO in June 2002 and when my power started to actup I took it to 'Fry's only to find that in the last 3 weeks they had 4 VAIO's with a Power problem.

Issue 3
I too have recently encountered the power connector problem and after taking a look have discovered that this is a very poor design. One of the internal connectors appears to be a copper blade which by nature of the metal is weak material and is subject to corrosion and oxidation. You may notice some green looking powdery material on the larger outer connector. I can't see the inside connector (center female connector) well enough but suspect it too is probably the same. I believe that two issues may exist. One being the connector material being copper in the laptops outter connection and the second being poor support for the connector at the motherboard. I am being quoted 699.00 to repair. I can get aroung the problem by purchasing a Port Replicator from Sony for 199.00 but am afraid that the same connector and design may be incorporated into the port replicator.

Issue 4
>You know I have had the same problem with my Grx-550. Wanting to know if
>you have found a satisfactory answer from Sony. And if my only option is
>to get whole new motherboard and power supply? Thanks for posting that. I
>am really discouraged by this problem. My extended warranty is now over.


Symptom 1
The usual problem is that the power unit shows a green light but the Viao does not power up. So your battery goes to 0.00 and the system shuts down. No way around this.
When you try to restart it dies midway and shuts down again.

Symptom 2
The Vaio dies after 10 minutes despite the power being connected and power input confirmation.

Symptom 3
1. Push power button.
2. Green power LED comes on.
3. Harddrive and fan spin up.
4. Screen remains dark, the "Sony" logo never appears, there is no additional harddrive activity, and the computer is effectively dead although the green power LED stays on).

Symptom 4
I have a grx580 which developed similar problems last night. When I power it up, the power led (green) is lit, the battery led (yellow) blinks indicating it's charging, and the HD led (yellow) goes on for a second or two but then then goes out. The screen never comes up at all, but the green power led stays on and the battery led keeps blinking. Nothing happens until I hit the power switch for 4 seconds to power it off. Are you seeing similar problems to mine?


Symptom 5
I bought a Sony VAIO XG-18 in May of 2000. I have been having problems recently with the power supply. The battery monitor says that the battery is charging, but it shows 0%. When I disconnect the power supply (AC), the computer shuts down. I hope we can get enough people for this suit.

The Feb 2005 CAFA changes

CAFA - Class Action Fairness Act

February 2005
Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) became law on February 18, 2005. CAFA
expands federal district court jurisdiction to encompass many more large, multistate class actions and places limits on so-called coupon settlements. This update summarizes the statute and highlights the most important changes to class action law.

Effective Date
CAFA became effective when signed by President Bush on February 18, 2005. The statute is not retroactive so cases filed before the effective date are not subject to the Act.

Expanded Federal Jurisdiction
CAFA eliminates the “complete diversity” requirement for class actions. Federal district courts now have original jurisdiction over any class action in which any plaintiff is a citizen of a state different from any defendant and the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.
The claims of individual plaintiffs may be aggregated to meet the jurisdictional amount.
CAFA provides certain exceptions to the general grant of federal jurisdiction for class actions:
• There is no federal jurisdiction if:
(1) more than two-thirds of the class members are citizens of the state of filing, (2) at least one “primary defendant” is also a citizen of that state,
(3) the principal injuries were incurred in that state; and
(4) no similar class actions were filed in the preceding three years against any defendant.
• There is no federal jurisdiction if at least two-thirds of the class members and all primary defendants are citizens of the state where the action was filed.
• There is no federal jurisdiction if:
(1) the plaintiffs' class has fewer than 100 members;
(2) the primary defendants are states, state officials or government entities; or (3) the claims arise under certain securities laws or state laws related to the internal affairs or governance of a business.

Page 2
2
A district court may choose to decline jurisdiction if between one-third and two-thirds of the class and all primary defendants are citizens of the filing state. The statute lists several factors for the court to consider in making this decision.
CAFA does not define “primary defendant” but, at minimum, such defendant must meet
the following requirements:
(1) class members seek significant relief from that defendant; and
(2) the defendant’s conduct forms a significant basis for the class claims. The legislative history indicates that Congress intended to prevent the practice of adding a local retailer, for example, to block removal to federal court.

Removal to Federal Court
CAFA changes removal procedures in class actions. Defendants may remove a class action to federal court even if a defendant is a citizen of the state in which the action was filed.
Class actions no longer must be removed within one year of filing, and any defendant may remove without the consent of all other defendants. Plaintiffs and defendants may appeal an order granting or denying a motion to remand to state court within seven days of the district court's decision. Appellate review is discretionary.
Settlements

CAFA limits coupon settlements. If the parties submit a proposed coupon settlement, the district court must:
(1) hold a hearing;
(2) make written findings on the fairness and adequacy of the agreement; and
(3) limit the fees of class counsel to a portion of the value of any
coupons actually redeemed. The parties may offer expert testimony on the value of the
settlement. If the class is awarded non-monetary relief or a portion of the coupon recovery is not used to determine the class counsel’s fees, attorney’s fees must be based on the amount of time the class counsel reasonably expended. All fee awards are subject to the district court’s approval.
District courts may not approve any settlement that gives a higher recovery to certain class members based solely on their geographic proximity to the court. If a settlement results in a net monetary loss to a class member, the district court must make a written finding that the non-monetary benefits outweigh the monetary loss.
Within ten days of filing a proposed settlement with the court, each defendant must serve a detailed notice of the settlement with the U.S. Attorney General and either the state Attorney General or the state official with regulatory authority over the defendant’s conduct for each state where a class member resides. If the defendant is a federal or state depository institution or a foreign bank, the notice must be filed with the federal official with regulatory authority or the state bank supervisor of the state in which the defendant is incorporated or chartered. Courts may not approve any settlement until ninety days after the defendants serve notice on the appropriate regulatory authorities. If the defendants do not serve this
notice, class members may refuse to be bound by the settlement.

SONY VAIO POWER UNIT FLAW - CLASS ACTION SUIT

To Publish your comments mail to FUVaio@gmail.com

Sony VAIO laptops have had a critical design failure from around 1998 onwards. From our observations the flaw has been many folds, and response from Sony has been dismal to say the least.

I myself bought a Sony VIAO in 1999 and in 6 months it lost its total power capabilities. When I contacted Sony their minimum 'seeing' charge was $275 plus shipment. In a few cases where they did provide a solution it was the replacement of the whole mother board - a charge of $900 plus depending on what model of VAIO you have.

SONY Vaio's has an inherent defect that warants this class action:

1. Sony design integrated the power unit into the motherboard.
This is an inherent design flaw that requires the replacement of the whole
motherboard if the power unit malfunctions.
Almost every other laptop manufacturer has a modular approach to the pwoer unit.
So if your power unit malfunctions you only have to replace the power unit.
Common Sense one would presume - is getting most uncommon at Sony.

2. The Sony Vaio power unit has a design flaw as it malfunctions.
This is evident from the large number of VAIO's that came in for this one single
purpose, this was stated by a Fry's serviceperson in 1999 when inquired if they
saw many Vaio's come in for repair.

3. Sony has known this for a long time and has taken no action.
It cannot be possible with all these complaints for the VAIO power units that
Sony did not realize that their whole design was flawed. I have personally
written to Sony, and have received no reply whatsowever.

4. Include an email of Senior Sony directors both for US and Japan.
If you have some please attach on this blog, so we can all mutully send this
complaint directly so they cannot refute it.

5. My original aim was to replace my Laptop.
I bought my laptop for $1700 for my son, and have regretted it ever since. It is
too expensive to firstly give me problems, and secondly to not be listened for.
In my opinion prime prices must demand prime service. I bought the unit new at
Fry's in Oregon while on a client project there. The unit gave me problems after
13 months and Fry's gives gaurantees for ony 30 days, and Sony only 12 months.

7. I have now banned Sony from my House.
I used to be a Sony fan. I had Sony TV, VCR, Sound System, Speakers, Cam corder,
Digital Camera.
Now, and my son supports me in this. I am still stuck with a Sony TV, but I
replaced my VCR with Panasonic, my Sound System with other makes and recently
when I bought my Minim Digital Camera I bought a Canon and found a much higher
customer satisfaction after a global web survey, especially in the service
sector - does not surprise me.

8. If we all stop buying SONY products maybe they will listen to their customers
Sony was a customer driven company and I remember this clearly. If I took a Sony
product to any dealer they would change, look into the problem, service, it
almost free if it was evident the damage was not due to my neglegence.
Infact when I was posted to Saudi Arabia, for a short stint, Sony would even send
their service technicians to the house, and service free of cost if the fault was
in their component.
For me this created a strong loyalty and commitment.

We must all join hands, for according to the new CAFA (Class Action Fairness Act) of 2005 we shall need 100 persons to participate in this for it to be deemed as a class action suit.

I have been rather lazy about this but with my recent discovery of Blogs, I am rejuvinated to this effort of collecting Sony VIAO disfunctional data.

If you know any friend, or even foe, who has, or has had a problem with their SONY Vaio, please lead them to this site for entering their comments and data.

The following is the list of people who I have already received from:



Hari Guleria
FUVaio@gmail.com


My Original Complaint to Sony (I have still to receive response)
Site complaint registered: http://www.ita.sel.sony.com/support/pc/email.html:

COMPLAINT AND INFORMATION NEEDED

I BOUGHT A SONY VIAO FOR $1800, FROM FRY'S, AND AFTER 11 MONTHS THE LAPTOP BEGAN TO GIVE TROUBLE. THIS LAPTOP ALWAYS STAYED ON MY DESK AND HAS NEVER MOVED OR TRAVELED LIKE MY OTHER LAPTOPS. THIS IS MY PERSONAL LAPTOP.
I HAVE RECOMMENDED VIAO TO QUITE A FEW FRIENDS.

I RECENTLY HAD SOME STARTUP PROBLEMS, AS THE MACHINE WENT DEAD, UPON TAKING IT TO FRYS FOR THE SOFTWARE PROBLEM I WAS DOWN $85.00 AND TOLD TO REINSTALL THE SOFTWARE WHICH I DID.
DURING THEIR CHECKUP I HAD MY POWER CONNECTOR DAMAGED, OR SO I THOUGHT FOR EVEN THOUGH THE POWER CHORD WAS IN THE 10 MINUTE POWER WARNINGS WOULD BEGIN TO FLASH. I MANAGED FOR A DAY OR TWO BY PLACING THE POWER CHORD TO THE RIGHT AND EVEN THEN IT WOULD GO DEAD ON ME.
THUS I TOOK IT BACK IN 15 DAYS TO FRYS, ONLY TO BE TOLD THAT THEY WOULD CHARGE AN ADDITIONAL $185 TO JUST SEE THE PROBLEM, AND THEN CHARGE ON TOP OF THAT.
I DECLINED AND WAS CATAGORICALLY TOLD, AND LATER FOUND OUT, THAT SONY HAS A DEFECTIVE POWER BOARD THAT SITS ON THE MOTHER BOARD.

THIS IS A MANUFACTURING DEFECT FOR THE REPAIR PERSON AT FRYS SAID THIS WAS THE THIRD SONY LAPTOP TO COME IN WITH A DEFECTIVE POWER COMPONENT LIKE MINE IN THE LAST ONE WEEK ALONE.

I SEE THIS AS A MANUFACTURING DEFECT AND LOOK TOWARDS SONY FOR EITHER REPLACING THIS LAPTOP/ OT THE MOTHERBOARD WITH A RECTIFIED ONE, OR SENDING ME A LIST OF ALL THE SONY LAPTOPS THAT HAVE COME IN WITH DEFECTIVE POWER CHORDS/CONNECTORS.

PLEASE EMAIL ME AT HARIGULERIA@HOTMAIL.COM

i SHALL LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOUR SIDE IN THE NEXT 7 TO 15 DAYS AS I HAVE TO CONTINUE TO WORK ON MY LAPTOP. I LOOK FORWARD TO SONY BEING CUSTOMER CENTRIC AND PROVIDING A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM .

BEST REGARDS

HARI GULERIA
FUVaio@gmail.com