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Laptops

Sony to replace jolting modem

The electronics giant announces that it will replace the modems in two notebooks that in some circumstances can disable phone lines, or deliver a slight shock to consumers.

Sony announced Thursday that it will replace the modems in two notebooks that in some circumstances can disable phone lines, or deliver a slight shock to consumers.

The notebooks--the Vaio FRV25 and FRV27--were primarily sold into the Japanese market, although some made it to the United States, according to a company representative. Because so few were sold into the United States, Sony will contact these customers directly to replace the modems.

The FRM25 and FRV27 sell for $1,499 and $1,699, respectively, and come with a V.90 modem, according to Sony's Web site.

The modems are delivering "slower than expected performance," said the representative. Additionally, the modem can disable the phone line if the notebook is plugged simultaneously into a phone line and a monitor, and the monitor is plugged into an electrical source with a three-prong grounded plug.

Electrically grounded notebooks can also give people a slight shock if the person touches a metal part of the notebook while it is plugged into a phone line and a third party attempts to call on the same phone line.