New fire and burn reports spur expansion of HP’s laptop battery recall

Stock photo of HP laptop
Tinh Khuong/Unsplash

A recall involving HP laptop batteries has been expanded in the wake of additional reports of “fire and burn hazards.”

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the expansion of the product recall on March 12. This updated recall now includes bout  78,500 affected units, a sharp increase from the original recall issued in January 2018 by HP itself, which included 50,000 units.

The original recall was issued because lithium-ion batteries for certain HP laptops and mobile workstations were reportedly having problems with overheating and, in some casess may have led to property damage and “one report of a minor injury involving a first-degree burn to the hand.”

This expansion of last year’s laptop battery recall had actually already been independently reported by HP on January 17, 2019. As the CPSC states in its own recall expansion announcement, it was unable to do so in January because of the U.S. government shutdown. The updated recall was issued because “eight new reports” of overheating laptop battery packs had come to the attention of HP.

According to the CPSC, the following battery units (either sold with laptops or separately as accessories) are now included in the expansion of HP’s laptop battery recall: “… 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, HP 11 Notebook PC, HP ZBook (17 G3, and Studio G3) mobile workstations. The batteries were also sold as accessories or replacement batteries for the HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation, HP ProBook 4xx G5 series, HP Envy 15, HP Mobile Thin Clients (mt21, mt22, and mt31), or for any of the products listed above.”

HP laptop owners concerned about whether or not their laptop batteries are affected by the recall are advised by HP and the CPSC to visit HP’s Battery Safety Recall and Replacement Program website to receive further instructions on how to test your battery and how to enable Battery Safety Mode if your battery is affected. (Battery Safety Mode essentially allows your laptop to be used without relying on the battery for power.)

Those whose laptops are affected should not try to replace the battery on their own as HP says they will require the services of an authorized technician. HP will provide these services “at no cost.”

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