Sony Corp. said the recall involves 19 models in the Vaio TZ series manufactured between May 2007 and July 2008.
The Tokyo-based consumer electronics company said improperly placed wires near the hinge connecting the body of the laptop and its display could wear quickly, causing a short circuit and overheating. A flaw in a circuit board inside the display could also cause the rim to overheat, it said.
Sony has received 209 reports of overheating worldwide, including seven cases in which people received minor burns, a Sony spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity, citing company policy. Five people suffered minor burns in Japan and one each in the U.S. and Italy, she said.
She said 373,000 of the laptops were sold in 48 countries, including the United States, and the remaining 67,000 in Japan.
The laptop problem comes two years after several computer makers were forced to recall a total of more than 10 million laptop batteries made by Sony because of possible overheating. The recall cost Sony about US$430 million.
Sony reported in July that its April-June profit plunged by about half from a year earlier, in part because of slowing electronics sales growth.