Overheating and exploding batteries seem to be a problem as of late. Samsung recently captured headlines for its own debacle with the Galaxy Note7, and now HP is continuing its recall of laptop batteries that could pose a risk to consumers.
The latest recall affects 101,000 units, and a previous recall in June 2016 affected another 41,000 batteries. The affected laptops were said to include a lithium-ion battery containing Panasonic cells that malfunctioned, leading to "overheating, melting and charring and causing about $1,000 in property damage," the US Consumer Product Safety (US CPSC) report said.
The batteries in question could have been used in HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion notebook computers. The recalled batteries were in laptops sold between March 2013 and October 2016, the CPSC report stated.
Affected laptops could have been purchased at Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, or another authorized dealer nationwide or online. The average cost of the laptops was between $300-$1700, and the standalone batteries were sold from $50-$90.
The report goes on to give the following description of the bad batteries:
The black batteries measure about 8 to 10.5 inches long, 2 inches wide and about 1 inch high. The battery bar code is printed on the back of the battery. "HP Notebook Battery" and the model number are printed on the battery. The batteries included in this expanded recall have bar codes starting with: 6BZLU, 6CGFK, 6CGFQ, 6CZMB, 6DEMA, 6DEMH, 6DGAL and 6EBVA.
To remedy the situation, consumers are urged to stop using the laptop, remove the battery from the computer itself, and contact HP for a free replacement. The laptop can continue to be used while plugged directly into AC power, the report said.
The recall further brings to light the conversation over just who is at fault in the supply chain when a problem like this energes. In the Samsung Galaxy Note7 case, for example, the company started off blaming the battery manufacturers, until it was revealed that a design flaw could have also played into the overheating.
With the quick pace at which manufacturing operates these days, is the burden of safety on the battery maker, the laptop manufacturer, or both? Let us know your opinion in the comments.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- HP has expanded its laptop battery recall to include an additional 101,000 units, including devices in the US, Canada, and Mexico, after reports of batteries overheating and causing property damage surfaced.
- Users are urged to remove the battery and contact HP for a free replacement, but can still use their computer plugged into AC power.
- The recall further raises questions of ethics in modern manufacturing, and who is to blame for such problems.
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- Samsung: Faulty batteries to blame for Note 7 disaster (ZDNet)
- New lithium metal batteries could double the life of smartphones, electric cars, and drones (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.