Hardware

HP recalls laptop batteries for overheating...again

Eight customers reported battery packs overheating, melting, or charring, leading to minor injuries and property damage.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • On Thursday, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of the lithium ion batteries found in HP Notebook computers and mobile workstations due to overheating.
  • Customers can visit HP's website to see if they were affected, and can get a free battery replacement.

HP's machines are heating up once again: On Thursday, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of the lithium ion batteries found in HP Notebook computers and mobile workstations due to overheating, causing fire and burn hazards and raising questions over who should be held responsible for such flaws.

The following devices may include one of the recalled batteries:

  • HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series)
  • HPx360 310 G2
  • HP Envy m6
  • HP Pavilion x360
  • HP 11
  • HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) mobile workstations
  • HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation (sold as accessories or replacement batteries)

SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

Customers should go to www.HP.com/go/batteryprogram2018 to see if their battery is included in the recall. If it is, the site also provides instructions to enable an update that places the battery in "Battery Safe Mode," so that the notebook or workstation can be used safely without the battery, by connecting to an HP power adaptor.

HP will provide a free battery replacement to those affected. The batteries cannot be replaced by customers themselves, the recall noted.

The issues came to HP's attention after eight customers reported battery packs overheating, melting, or charring, according to the recall. Three of those customers also reported property damage totalling $4,500, and one reported a first degree burn on their hand.

The recall affects about 50,000 machines sold in the US, in addition to about 2,600 in Canada.

This is not the first time HP has experienced battery problems: In June 2016, the company issued a recall of about 41,000 lithium ion battery packs for HP and Compaq computers due to overheating reports. In January 2017, the company expanded the recall to include about 101,000 devices.

"The quality and safety of all HP products is our top priority," HP said in a statement about the issue. "We recently learned that batteries provided by one of our suppliers for certain notebook computers and mobile workstations present a potential safety concern. We are taking immediate action to address this issue including a voluntary recall and replacement of the batteries. This action pertains to 0.1 percent of the HP systems sold globally over the past two years."

This incident reignites the conversation over who in the manufacturing process should be held responsible when such an event occurs. HP seems to be blaming a supplier in this case. When the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones experienced similar overheating problems, Samsung initially blamed battery manufacturers, until uncovering a flaw in its own design as well.

It remains to be seen if this latest recall will impact sales of HP devices.

Also see

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Image: CNET

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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