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Lens errors are fairly common. Usually it's sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism. Or the camera's been dropped with the lens extended. Or the camera has been powered on, but the lens had been blocked preventing its extension. Or the battery ran down with the lens extended ...
Here's some things that you can do to try to correct it. They only seem to work for less than 50% of the lens errors, but if the camera is out of warranty, they're worth a try:
my daughter sat on ours while it was on and the lens wouldn't retract. I tried the banging repair suggested for a stuck lens. After quite a few tries, it got the lens to retract when turned off but it wouldn't stay out when on, so i grabbed the lens and gently pulled it all the way out while it was on and it worked! (phew!)
Same problem guys!!! LENS HAD GOT STUCK - ABOUT ONE THIRD OUT after a knock. After lots of playing, and tapping and batteries in and out tried the whole twisting and pulling thing whilst turning off and on.
After a few minutes it came free and whole lens popped out. I then had to twist the outer part of the lens to straighten that up and allow it to fully retract. Works a treat now!
PS Tried the Sony online chat support - useless!!!!