HP recalls 135,000 battery packs

The batteries, sold with HP and Compaq notebooks, are being recalled after incidents of overheating and melting.

Hewlett-Packard on Friday recalled 135,000 battery packs sold with its notebook computers shipped globally from March 2004 to May 2005.

Some 85,000 of the faulty lithium ion rechargeable packs were sold in the United States, the company said. The product is being recalled following 16 reports of batteries overheating due to an internal short circuit, the company said.

In four cases, including one in the U.S., these batteries caused minor property damage because their cases melted or became charred.

The recalled product was imported from China and Taiwan and used with Pavilion, HP Compaq, Presario and Evo notebooks manufactured from March through September of last year. These machines have a bar code label starting with GC, IA, L0 or L1. The battery packs were sold separately for between US$100 and US$130.

The device maker has advised consumers to stop using recalled batteries and contact HP for a free replacement via the replacement program Web site.

Malfunctioning batteries in portable computers and other devices such as cell phones have often led to recalls by leading makers. Apple Computer recalled 128,000 batteries shipped with its PowerBook G4 and iBook G4 laptops earlier this year.