HP expands laptop battery recall due to fire and burn hazards

78,500 laptop batteries are to be recalled after eight new reports of battery packs overheating, melting, or charring.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

HP is recalling around 78,500 laptop batteries that pose fire and burn hazards, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) announced on Tuesday.

There have been eight new reports of battery packs overheating, melting, or charring following the initial recall in January 2018, including one report of a minor injury and two reports of property damage, the USCPSC said.

The initial recall in January last year saw 50,000 laptops identified as having a battery issue, with the additional 78,500 laptops now being recalled an expansion of that.

According to ZDNet's sister site CNET, the recall expansion of 78,500 laptop batteries occurred in January 2019, but is only now receiving widespread circulation due to the USCPSC not announcing the recall at the time due to the US government shutdown.

Prior to the USCPSC announcement, HP in January 2019 set up a website that explains which laptop batteries are affected.

The recall applies to the following laptop models that were sold between April 2015 and April 2018: HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series, 4xx G4 series); HPx360 (310 G2); HP Pavilion x360 11-inch Notebook PC; and HP 11 Notebook PC.

Batteries that were sold between April 2015 and December 2018 as accessories or replacement batteries for the following laptops will also be recalled: HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation; HP ProBook 4xx G5 series; HP Envy 15; and HP Mobile Thin Clients (mt21, mt22, and mt31).

According to HP, many of these faulty laptop batteries are non-removable, which means they cannot be replaced by the consumer.

Battery replacement services by an authorised technician will be provided at no cost, HP said.

In the meantime, HP has released an update to the BIOS of affected laptops. The updated BIOS places the battery in "Battery Safety Mode" so that affected laptops can be safely used without the battery by connecting to an HP power adapter.

The recall is part of a continuing series of batteries being recalled by HP. In June 2016, around 41,000 laptop batteries were recalled and more than 100,000 more were recalled in January 2017. Following this recall expansion, around a quarter of a million laptop batteries have been recalled by HP in a two-and-a-half-year span.

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