HP recalls 6 million laptop cords over burn concerns

Overheating concerns have prompted Hewlett-Packard to issue a voluntary recall of more than 6 million power cords that were shipped with HP and Compaq laptops between 2010 and 2012.

Hewlett-Packard has announced a worldwide voluntary recall of up to 6 million AC power cords that were distributed with HP and Compaq notebooks, mini notebooks, and some docking stations sold between September 2010 and June 2012.

On August 26, the company issued a statement saying that some of the power cords for these computers may have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard.

"HP believes that certain power cords shipped with notebook PC products and AC adapter accessories may pose a risk of a fire and burn hazard to customers," the company said. "We are taking this action as part of our commitment to provide the highest quality of service to our notebook customers."

AC Power CordLARGE
Image: US Consumer Product Safety Commission

An HP administrator said in a post on the company's support forum blog page that the voluntary recall is only for the cord that connects the wall socket to the laptop power pack, marked with the part number "LS-15", which is moulded into the connector that plugs into the AC adapter.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said that HP had received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring, resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.

"Customers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. Consumers can continue to use the computer on battery power," said the CPSC in its recall notice.

According to the CPSC, HP shipped almost 5.6 million of the power cord units in the US and 446,700 in Canada, but HP said that not all of the units were affected by the fault.

"Not all HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook PCs were sold with an affected power cord. Please validate the power cord shipped with your notebook PC or purchased with an accessory, or as a spare," the company said.

HP said that customers affected by the voluntary recall will be eligible to receive a free replacement for each verified AC power cord that is recalled.

In December last year, HP and Google moved to recall 145,000 HP Chromebook 11 chargers due to overheating and melting concerns.

That recall covered HP Chromebook 11 chargers with the model number MU15-N1052-A00S. Google had nine reports of chargers overheating, and offered to send out replacement chargers through its Chromebook site.

HP and Compaq laptop users wishing to obtain a replacement for a suspect LS-15 power cord can visit the company's safety recall and replacement program page.