Sony KDF55WF655 Grand Wega
by dbalck45 - 8/27/09 8:37 AM
I sent this to NY BBB and the Federal Trade Commission -
The product involved is in my case a KDF-55WF655 Grand Wega, however it involves all rear projection TV's made between 2003-2007 as noted on the following web site:
The common problem with all of these sets is what is called a "optical block" which causes various anomalies. In my case the blue blob/blue haze appearance. There is no question the product is out of normal warranty. My set was purchased in November of 2005 from Circuit City and it was manufactured in September of 2004. The value was between $2500 - $3000 and I can no longer locate the receipt. This same TV experienced another expensive repair in late 2008 costing $876.80 which Sony finally covered the repair cost. Now at issue is a repair cost of $1273.45 for the "optical block".
While the initial repair could be considered isolated the "optical block" is a more wide spread and serious matter as can be seen on the following web site:
or you can pull it up from the above site noted as "Get Satisfaction - Sony Grand Wega Optical Block Issue". Even as I posted my complaint on the site just a few days ago more are being added and I received emails from numerous people since then. Folks are very mad about this matter. Some class action suits have been filed but not for the aforementioned model. My set has less than 10,000 hours on it (update - I ran the Sony Service Menu "checking and resetting the lamp hours" and found my current hours to be 10,271) and I was told it should have a product life of about 60,000 hours. Best I can tell this is about the time the problem starts to arise; around 10,000 hours.
From what I understand it is a manufacturing issue in that the optical block is not being cooled properly. The blue optical block is the closet to the projector lamp which causes the blue to over heat after a period of time.
Sony at first would not even consider to repair the unit. They did suggest I contact a authorised repairman to look at the set even though I provided them pictures showing the same type of pictures published previously on their web site, now since removed. The service call cost me $92 with the service tech telling me it was the known "optical block" problem. Sony did for a very short period of time (5 months) offer to completely repair the unit but my TV had not been used enough for the problem to show up during that time. I as never made aware of the offer to repair the unit through any mailings. Now they offer to cover half the repair cost or furnish another TV at a reduced cost of $1300 (which is about the going sale retail cost of the set). Repairing the set is not a option as I have read the same thing will reoccur and paying them $1300 for another one of their products is out of the question given how they treat their customers.
I consider them in violation of the "Magnuson-Moss Act" and the "Implied Warrant of Merchantability". I purchased a TV that should last for 60,000 hours and only got 1/6 of it's usage which now leave me losing around $2100 worth of usage in the TV. This hits hard in the pocket book!
Please look into this matter as you will find it is very serious and getting even worst.
This was sent to US Consumer Product Safety Commission -
All Sony rear projection LCD TV's manufactured between 2003-2007 that are involved in the "optical block" problem. While I know of no instances of injury, there exist potential of fire. Sony is well aware of the "optical block" issue that has arisen from the manufacturing of their rear projection TV's. They are doing little to assist customers in the replacement of this component costing customers around $1200 to replace the "optical block". Please refer to the following web site:
If you read the article you will find the component is failing due to over heating of the "optical block" by the projector light source. Please see:
"Probable cause of the blue haze/star problem: Most evidence indicates that the problem lies in overheating of the LCD panels due to their proximity and/or sharing a fan with the lamp, which gets very hot (see pictures below). Of the three LCD panels, the blue one is nearest the lamp and the fan port, which may be consistent with the predominance of problems with blue visual anomalies."
"Picture 8 (KDF-55XS955). Blue LCD panel that was removed from the LCD module (see Picture 7). Note the opaque circular region on the left side, presumably caused by heat damage due to its proximity to the lamp."
"Picture 12. Inside case of TV under display area. The optical block inserts to the left, and the lamp portion sits on the right. The metal area by "lamp access" is where the lamp assembly can be accessed from the front of the TV for lamp replacement. Note the "burn" marks on the plastic case where the lamp shines through its housing. This could be due to the light and/or heat reacting with the plastic."
as noted in the article.
I own a KDF-55WF655 Grand Wega Sony TV that has developed the blue "optical block" problem. Sony is unwilling to repair the TV but even if they did, I fear the risk of fire. Sony is doing there best to get these units out of circulation by offering ridiculous offers to customers paying around $3000 for these sets new. Check out some of the links in the web site noted above - Sony customers are very upset with them.
Please look into this before someone gets hurt and make Sony recall these units and give customers a prorated portion of the cost back based on the lamp hours used - which can be pulled up from the TV as noted in the service menu of the TV (Sony Service Menu - Checking and Resetting Lamp Hours).