Automobile manufacturers learned a long time ago that waiting for problems to become public and then appearing to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to a remedial recall is bad form. So they changed their tack to proactive recalls with enough publicity given to alert any consumers other means of notification missed. Our government actually cooperates in this to great success.
Well, Sony and Dell and several other companies in the tech sector really need to take a lesson from the car companies. There is less of a black eye in proactive consumer protection than there is in getting caught out in this sort of snafu. And they need to learn it really, really fast, as the devices we carry store more and more energy and thus have ever greater potential for harm.
Can you imagine current tech sector attitudes doing us any good at all when portable fuel cells, with combustable fuel on board, come into wide use?