HP recalls 50,000 consumer notebooks following "overheating" concerns

HP recalls 50,000 consumer notebooks following "overheating" concerns

Tech giant received eight reports of batteries "overheating, melting, or charring"

HP is recalling about 50,000 consumer notebook batteries for free, which were originally sold as part of a HP notebook itself or as a standalone accessory.

The tech giant said it had received eight reports of those batteries "overheating, melting, or charring", which included property damage and burns.

Specifically, the affected notebook models include the HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series), the HP x360 310 G2, as well as the HP Envy m6, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11, HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) Mobile Workstations.

The batteries were also sold as accessories or replacement batteries for the HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation. In each case, the batteries could have been sold as part of the notebooks, or as replacements.

HP said the laptops and batteries had been sold at popular retail outlets including Amazon, Best Buy, and, from December 2015 though December 2017.

Although 50,000 of the affected batteries were sold within the United States, an additional 2,600 were sold within Canada, HP said.

Among the incident reports were three reports of property damage, totalling US$4,500, as well as one case where a customer suffered a first-degree burn to the hand.

Fortunately, there is an easy way for users to determine whether they have been affected - HP has set up a webpage where customers can check to see whether their battery is included in the recall.

There, users will find a special HP Battery Validation Utility to download with the utility telling customers if their battery is affected.

"HP’s primary concern is for the safety of our customers," a company statement read. "HP is proactively notifying customers, and will provide replacement battery services for each verified, eligible battery, at no cost.

"For customers with five or more potentially affected batteries, HP has put in place a process to assist with validation and ordering."

If users that do have an affected battery however, HP has advised against removing it manually. Instead, HP has developed a BIOS update that will put the battery into a "battery safety mode."

This mode will discharge the battery and prevent it from being recharged until the battery is replaced. Put another way, HP said that notebooks will simply refuse to operate without the charger attached, so users will need to plug in the laptop to use it.

For customers with further questions, HP has set up a detailed FAQ on the battery recall.

Why this matters: Battery recalls happen every so often, often due to manufacturing issue. The most important thing users can do is check to see if their notebook battery is affected. No one wants a repeat of the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

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