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Sony 52" LCDTV strong acrid smell out of the box!

by Imshaken / March 30, 2008 11:08 PM PDT

Friday morning a 52" Sony Bravia LCD TV (KDL 52XBR4) was delivered to our home. Upon opening the box and pulling the plastic cover off the set a strong pungent acrid smell came off the set and filled the living room. Prior to ever having plugged it in. This smell is similar, although not identical to a burnt transformer smell.

That day and night we left the set on, and windows open in the living room. Since it's March and we live in Minnesota it's cold! It went down to 25 degrees F, and the furnace constantly cycled. Saturday the smell was no better. We left the set on and windows open. Sunday, the smell was, perhaps, slightly weaker, hard to tell actually. We moved the set to a small room in the basement, opened the window and turned a fan on blowing out the window to suck the smell out. This helps.

The glands in my wife's throat actually started swelling. That stopped within an hour of placing the set in the basement.

I called Sony Friday afternoon. They gave me the number of tech reps in the area. The first available appointment is Wednesday.

I'm curious if this odor is toxic, and if it has health implications.

If this is a burn in issue, then perhaps sony should consider creating a burn in step prior to shipping. In the future I will seriously hesitate prior to purchasing Sony. I would have gone for the Samsung model if I had known about this issue in advance. That said, the picture is everything CNET said it was.

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Return it
by albeach55 / March 31, 2008 12:16 AM PDT

There is nothing normal about what you have described. You should have returned the set immediately if it is causing health issues for your family.

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safety first
by THE COMPUTER HEALER / March 31, 2008 12:32 AM PDT

remove that tv out of living areas. i agree with albeach55, i've dropped and broken a few lcd's and it was nothing as vivid as what your describing.if it was shiped from a retailer have them come pick it up. take pictures and if you can video record for your records, just in case they're health implications.
this is the first issue i've ever heard with a sony bravia.
i can tell you that its not "burn in". although some lcd's were able to leave shadow burns, "burn in" is a
non toxic or smelling problems that plagues plasma tv sets. i hope all is well with your wife, good luck.

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return it
by bevillan / March 31, 2008 1:40 AM PDT

Definitely don't turn it on anymore and return it. Hopefully you weren't exposed to anything toxic.

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Here's what happened.
by Imshaken / April 4, 2008 9:32 PM PDT
In reply to: return it

Thank you all for your advice. I wanted to wait for a resolution before I responded. Here's what happened.

Tuesday we got a call from a TV repair guy to come and do a "safety check" of the set. I thought he was from the tech service who was scheduled for Wednesday but he was not. Probably a bad choice for safety check for smell because this fellow was a VERY heavy smoker and admitted his "sniffer isn't so good". Truthfully, while he was in the room I couldn't smell the set at all, just the cigarette smoke emanating from his clothes. (not kidding)

Anyway, when he was in the process of removing the back of the set he finally got a good whiff of our complaint. No fire or burning inside. Anyway, he spoke to his supervisor telling him he had never smelled a set like this one. Sony called us later while we were gone (naturally) and left a message. The smell is normal. Call them if there's any other problem.

It's now Saturday, 8 days after we first got the set. After nearly a week of being in an isolated bedroom in the basement with no return air duct, with the set on, with a fan blowing directly into the back of the set, with the window open, through two snow storms I might add... the set finally smells acceptable enough to move into a living space.

I purchased the set online from Abe's of Maine. Abe's is upfront about a no return policy so I could not return it, and had to deal with Sony. (this, apparently is the downside of buying online.) I had vowed to dispute the sale on my credit card if I couldn't use the set within a week. A week ended yesterday, however, it was obvious on Thursday that the smell was becoming less intense, and on Friday it was almost reasonable. Last night my sister and son couldn't smell it at all other than a "new" smell. I suppose at this point my wife and I are sensitized because we still smell it.

Tomorrow it goes into the den. Thanks again for your good advice. The upshot is, despite the beautiful picture quality I would hesitate before buying a Sony again unless I could return the set.

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MY 52XBR4 also has this issue.
by the_bhagwan / April 11, 2008 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's what happened.

MY 52XBR4 also has this issue.

I Bought it yesterday. April 10th. 2008
The weather is good here in Seattle for a few days so I'll open the windows and let it air out.

Good to hear it goes away eventually, thanks.
Makes me feel better about spending that money on something that smells like burning electronics.

I bought it locally after returnning two Toshiba sets. (one I didnt like and the other defective). The Toshibas didn't smell at all. I Do have to say that except for the smell I like the Sony much better than the Toshibas.

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A week later its still bad when I turn it on for a while.
by the_bhagwan / April 16, 2008 2:08 PM PDT

A week later its still bad when I turn it on for a while.

Smells like burning electronics.

Im afraid that if I exchange this one then the replacement will be the same

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It's not only Sony
by jucaso / April 17, 2008 11:37 AM PDT

I just received my brand new Samsung 46' LCD. I proceeded to open the box and I almost fainted. The smell of burnt plastic hit me on the face so hard that I choked for a second. What I'm trying to say is that the smell is not unique to Sony. I placed mine in the Family Room, opened all the windows and aired the unit for a while albeit did not help. I called Electronics Export (bought it on line) and asked if this was a frequent complaint, they never heard of any thing like this.
My biggest concerned is that the smell could be toxic to our health.

I'm reluctant to call for service since according to this thread it has been said to be normal. I hate for a technician to mess with a brand new unit if I can help it.
Has anyone been able to get a clear answer on the reason for the smell? Has the smell finally gone away for anyone of you, and if yes what did you do?

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manufacturers should have a burn-in process at the plant
by Imshaken / April 19, 2008 4:08 AM PDT
In reply to: It's not only Sony

<Has anyone been able to get a clear answer on the reason for the smell?> I never got a straight answer.

<Has the smell finally gone away for anyone of you, and if yes what did you do?>

I swear I can still smell my set a little bit. However, my wife, son-in-law, daughter, son, and sister can not smell the set anymore. So I'm either extremely sensitized or imagining it.

What I did was place the set in a room that did not have ventilation to other rooms. I opened the outside window, and placed the back of the set within two feet of the window, turned the set on, with no signal or antennae attached so the set image was black. (saving the CCFL tube) Then we placed a fan so it was blowing into the back of the set. I left it this way for a week to ten days. After that the smell was still there, but diminished enough that we decided to bring it in so we could actually start to finally use the damned thing. (It smelled like hell so I figure the set is "damned"). :o))

If this is "normal" then Sony's standards for creating acceptable criteria are questionable. In the future I will avoid purchasing Sony. Their once good name no longer exists for my family.

I believe the chemicals unleashed into the air in my home, and everyone elses home is toxic. Perhaps there's a lawyer out there who might be interested in a class action lawsuit to get manufacturers to understand that poisoning customers isn't good for profits. Since that is apparently the only thing that is truly important to Sony.

Good luck!

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New Sony Odor
by Steve_R / April 23, 2008 1:25 PM PDT

I had the same problem and it is fine now. Here is a response I
received from Sony:

"Thank you for contacting Sony Support.

We are really sorry for the confusion. However, new televisions may produce an unusual smell or odor when first turned on. Due to the manufacturing process of components, televisions and other electronic products can have parts with plastic coatings that may produce a smell after the product is first turned on and warms up. The smell will usually dissipate within a few hours of use and does not return. This is normal and occurs with many electronic products.

NOTE: If the smell continues to linger even after the television has been turned off, ensure there is sufficient ventilation in the room and the odor will dissipate.

However, if you wish to discuss this issue further, please contact our telephone support staff who will be happy to provide further diagnosis and assistance at: (800) 222-7669 or (239) 768-7669 Intl.

Thank you for choosing Sony."

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15 days now and its still bad.
by the_bhagwan / April 24, 2008 7:45 AM PDT

15 days now and its still bad. Mostly only after it's warmed up for a while. I can tell you that I'm not enjoying ownership of this $3000 TV one bit. And from feedback I've read here, Sony doesnt appear to care. I've visited a couple of showrooms full of TV since. And with 40 or 50 TVs going I don't smell them at all. I think I'm going to take this back to the store. It must be part of a defective batch of Sony TVs.

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Replacing your set?
by Imshaken / April 25, 2008 7:10 AM PDT

Try to have them pull the top of the TV box off at the store and plug it in. Ours reaked the moment the plastic/fiber bag was removed no plug in required.

This way you might be able to avoid a repeat of what you're going through now. Good luck!

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already replaced it
by the_bhagwan / April 25, 2008 9:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Replacing your set?

Thanks for the suggestion. However I already swapped it this afternoon without doing that. My original one also reeked the moment the bag was removed but this one didn?t seem quite as bad. It does have that characteristic smell though. My wife says it?s not as bad too. But maybe we?re just desensitized to that particular smell after living with it for a couple weeks. I have to say that the store (Video Only in Federal Way, WA) has been awesome by being so understanding and not arguing about my concern. At this point I realize that this is just an issue with all these Sony TVs (albeit not quite as bad on this latest one). I?ll open windows for a few weeks if necessary. I hope the store sends the old one back to Sony like they said they were going to do. Sony needs feedback so they can fix this.

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same issue here! purchsed at Sears
by disimilar1 / December 7, 2008 4:47 AM PST

bought 8 days ago. have windows to room open 24 hours. smell does not go away. very toxic.

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Sony Bravia KDS-46V5100
by sealover9267 / September 9, 2009 9:01 AM PDT

I have the same problem like all of you, except I just got my Sony now in August 29, 09. I bought this TV last week of August, it was delivered to me on the 29th,today is Sept.9, I still today cant be in the room this tv is in and on for more than short time with windows open, this thing still smell awfull. I called Sony suport and they gave me a # to call for service if this smell does not go away. But in reading these posts I like some one else in this forum sees the same problem. I can still return this tv, but what if I get another tv and have the same problem with new tv, the smell, also I dont like any tecks messing with my new tv.I been keeping this tv powered on for appr. 5 to 6 hours per day every day with windows open in the whole house. The smell sems to be getting a litlle better/less but I cant belive that sony just keeps doing this, I would think that if their tvs emitt toxic odors they shoud be the ones dealing with the smell problem from their tvs, not their costumers. I,m gone run this for anothr week or so and see if the smell goes away, if not its gone have to go back to BB. I have lots of sony products in my house, and had sony tvs also in the past with no problems, but I cant belive that Sony doesent admitt that there is a problem with their lcd tvs and fix it. This will probably be my last Sony TV Sony, I have a 40" Samsung and there were no fumes coming from the Samsung tv when it was new, and it did not burn my lungs from toxic fumes like the Sony tv did. Someone mentione Class Action suit, if there is one count me in.

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Retuned Sony 46" TV
by sealover9267 / October 11, 2009 8:44 AM PDT

Hello everyone! Just wanted to update all of you on my situation with my Sony Bravia 46" TV. This acidy/sulfuric smell would not go away after appr. 15 days. On the 16th day I closed the window to the room the TV was in, because the winter is coming soon and I'm not ging to watch TV with open windows in middle of winter. I turned the TV on and I left the room, and after appr. 45 minuts I went back into the room the TV was in. As soon as I stepped inside the room the smell was still very strong. I picked up the remote, turned off the Tv, and went straight to the phone. I called Best Buy, and told them what the problem was, and told them to come and take this smelly HEALTH HAZZARD out of my house. Best buy agreed, they sheduled a pick up date, 2 1/2 weeks later and the smelly Sony was gone. I waited till my Credit Card was credited the money for the Sony TV, then I went back to Best Buy and got a new 46" Samsung B640 TV. This Tv had absolutly no smell comming out of it, I could sit and watch it for hours and there is absolutly NO SMELL coming out of it. This is why I buy my electronics from Best Buy, because you have 30 days (14 days for some items) to take back what you bought no matter what the problem is. "Imshaken", I dont know if you still have you smelly Sony or not, but I just think that, what ever that smell is it never goes away, and you breathing those fumes is definetly not good for you. I might say that I always had good luck with Sony TVs in the past, no toxic fumes. In fact my main TV right now is a Sony KDS-60A3000 Lcos 60" 1080P rear projection TV, with great picture, and no toxic smell,located in my living room, and I realy like this TV it has an unbelivable good picture, especially in HD. Well this is my story, just wanted to update everybody....

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Sony Bravia 40" KDL-40V5100
by cpu22girl / December 3, 2009 5:37 AM PST
In reply to: Retuned Sony 46" TV

I bought this television on Saturday, November 28, 2009. I opened the box Sunday, November 29, 2009 just before midnight and placed the set in my bedroom. I did not sleep in there that night because I was still organizing things in the room. By Monday evening (less than 24 hours later) and after being around the set on and off throughout the day I started to feel very nauseous. I noticed something smelled weird, but I thought I was getting sick or something - I mean it is "flu season" and even though I have never had the flu before, I had what I thought were similar symptoms (vomiting, major nausea, etc.) I have been resting in the room where the TV is and not feeling any better. Yesterday (Wed., 12-2-09) I decided to sit in the living room for a few hours. Around 1:30 am this morning I got up to go to bed and as soon as I walked into my room the smell was overwhelming! I thought to myself this is crazy and unplugged everything from the TV and moved it into our office. Within a few minutes the horrible smell was gone! Today, I am still feeling nauseous and when I pass by our office where I placed the TV (on the floor unplugged), I can smell a very strong plastic like smell. Kind of smells like burning plastic or paint. I have since shut the door. As soon as I feel well enough, my plan is to return the TV to Best Buy and purchase a non-Sony television. I have always purchased Sony products before, but never this type of TV. After reading the posts in this forum, I doubt I will be buying SONY again.

Riverside, CA

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Same problem with Samsung
by snorkyller / January 27, 2010 12:17 PM PST

I bought a 32'' Samsung tv on december 09 (ln32b360). I got a "burning electronic chips" odor in my apartment days after days. The odor wouldn't go away at any time when I use the tv every evening.

I got a replacement but the new tv just has the same problem. After more than 1 week, the odor doesn't go away. Don't know what to do now.

I have heard that Sony TV's are made with parts made by Samsung.

I would just suggest to everyone to not accept a tv that are smelling. There's no doubt it's certainly not good for your health, if you wouldn't like to raise to much your chances of having cancer. You should not ignore the toxicity of this kind of smell. I'll leave you an example just to give you an idea: I have recently heard on tv that everyone who buy a new car, should open the windows a bit after getting int the car, just to let the "new car odor" go outside the car, 'cause it is vapor created by the varnish they put on the plastic.

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Tv smell
by sealover9267 / January 31, 2010 6:56 AM PST

I had a Sony 46" that had this acidy smell, and I returned it, because like you say its not healthy to inhale that chemical for a long time. I replaced the Sony 46" by a 46" Samsung, and the Sumsung did NOT have any acidy or any other smell. Samsung is still in the same room, and I watch it daily and there is no smell. Its hard to know hich brand of TV is going to have this smell, if you bought a Samsung TV thas has that acidy smell take it back. I did not replace my Sony 46" tv with the same TV because I might get one from the same batch, and have the same smell. That's why I bought Samsung. If you have a TV that has this acidy smell, this smell is not going away, so take it back, try another brand.

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Major Health Hazard/Law Suit
by amerpersonal / March 19, 2010 1:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Tv smell

GUYS, THIS IS THE HEALTH OF OUR FAMILY THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. This is criminal! It does not seem to be a rare thing in only some TV sets or something that can be missed in testing. Sony should be sued for selling this product in the market. If any of you have had the same experience as I have and would like to pursue legal action, or have any attorneys in mind, please email me at

I bought my Sony Bravia 46" LCD from Best Buy last weekend. The smell in my little townhouse is so strong that you can feel it as you get on the living room floor from the stairs. It has been a week since I have had this TV, and the smell is still very strong. I can't believe I paid so much to put my family's health at risk from toxic fumes. In a world where cancer is on a rise among people of all ages, this is the last thing we need.

Please email me if you have any suggestions. I think just returning the TV and not doing anything about it is irresponsible. We need to make a case to prevent this from happening to others. We can't have Sony pull a Toyota on us.

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Smelly 46" LED Samsung
by Andalula / March 22, 2011 12:07 PM PDT

I just wanted to weigh-in. We have had this TV for way too long to return it (~two years). But suddenly it has started omitting a horrid glue-like oder from the back that rises to the top of the room, takes days to air out and gives me a terrible headache. I can't understand how this only suddenly started happening, and I would encourage anyone able to press this issue with their retailer or manufacturer to do so, because I'm thinking that it will only get worse over time.

Perhaps the people producing these set-to-self-destruct products think it's normal to buy a huge television and be force to replace it two years later, but I like to get the most out of my more expensive electronics. Also who can afford to keep replacing your phones, televisions, cameras and whatnots ever single year? That should be reserved for the few items that you use professionally - Apple.

However, that said. I can't see how I can keep it. It's likely that I'll not replace it with the same size tv, if at all. Why should I if it's manufactured to turn into a chemical weapon after the warrantee runs out?

What I would like to know is if anyone knows how to test what gas is being omitted by the plastic parts. Anyone?


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Returned 46" Samsung Smart TV
by PastorPassum / December 2, 2012 11:35 AM PST

My buddy bought a 46" Samsung last Sunday. I helped set it up and noticed a really bad odor. He had to wait for a new HD box from Dish Network before using the set but he left the set turned on, actually just plugged in. I returned Saturday, 6 days later, and the smell was still awful. After being there an hour or so, the windows were open because of the odor, my eyes began burning and watering. I googled it, found this site and saw he wasn't the only on experiencing the problem.
He wasn't bothered by it to the extent I was but he called Samsung Customer Service. They explained that their new sets should not have any objectionable odors and that he should "get the set out of the house immediately and return it to the selling dealer. He called Best Buy and returned it about an hour later for another Samsung. This one doesn't stink. None of them should according to Samsung. Best Buy agreed.

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Smelly LED LCD's in general
by Greg_KanataON / December 27, 2013 10:24 PM PST

PastorPassum: I think on the topic of toxic smelling LED LCD's I believe the following: there are not-so-normal VERY BAD smelling new TV's, and there are 'normal' BAD SMELLING new TV's. For the former, something went wrong in manufacturing. In the last, NOTHING according to the manufacturer, went wrong in the manufacturing -- it just smells bad 'normally' -- cause of the materials and processes they used to construct the device.

And there are a LOT of brands of LED Tv's from my reading, that could potentially smell bad 'normally', depending possibly on the model -- BUT it IS VERY COMMON, for those of us that are particularly sensitive to toxins to encounter a bad smelling LED LCD TV (and I AM, and my daughter is, we can smell things that bother us that others cannot smell -- BUT because others cannot smell them does NOT mean it does not hurt them -- my nose CERTAINLY tells me truth).

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