A wiring flaw near the hinge connecting the body of the laptop and its display could wear quickly, causing a short circuit and overheating, the Japanese electronics giant says.
A flaw in a circuit board inside the display could also cause the rim to overheat.
So far the company has received 209 reports of overheating worldwide, including seven cases in which people received minor burns, a Sony spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.
Five people suffered minor burns in Japan and one each in the U.S. and Italy, she said.
Sony Corp is recalling 19 models in the Vaio TZ series manufactured between May 2007 and July 2008.
Around 373,000 of the laptops were sold in 48 countries, including the United States, and the remaining 67,000 in Japan.
A company spokesman in UK said: 'Sony is voluntarily initiating a programme to perform a free inspection and, if necessary, a rework of affected models.
'Sony takes the quality of the products it sells very serious and makes every effort to ensure that the products it develops meet all relevant regulations and standards. We sincerely apologist in advance for any inconvenience caused.'
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 £243m.
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. Models affected: All model numbers beginning 'VGN TZ1' or 'VGN TZ2' and certain model numbers beginning 'VGN TZ3'