Some HP laptops need battery replacements due to serious safety concerns

HP has issued a battery recall notice for a number of its laptops and mobile workstations sold over the last two years due to concerns that the battery inside these machines could be dangerous and a fire hazard.

This follows eight reports of lithium-ion batteries overheating and/or melting, and in one case causing a first-degree burn to someone’s hand, with three further cases citing resulting property damage (presumably caused by fire, of course) to the tune of $4,500 (around £3,300, AU$5,700).

The machines affected represent 0.1% of HP’s computers sold globally between December 2015 and December 2017. That might sound like a small percentage, but given how many devices HP shifts in a year, it’s still likely to be a fairly substantial figure.

Affected models include HP ProBook, HP ZBook, HP x360, HP Envy m6, HP Pavilion x360 laptops and more – for the full list as spotted by Engadget, check HP’s site here. There is a small utility you can download which will check if the battery in your laptop is one of the affected power packs.

Safety mode engaged

If so, there are also instructions on how to put your notebook into ‘battery safety mode’ for the time being – effectively discharging and disabling the battery, meaning you’ll have to use the portable plugged into a power socket – while a replacement battery is arranged. As these batteries are sealed inside the laptop, a qualified technician will be called upon to carry out the replacement.

Naturally, none of this will come at any cost to the customer, except for the inconvenience of temporarily having your battery disabled.

HP issued a statement to stay: “The quality and safety of all HP products is our top priority. We recently learned that batteries provided by one of our suppliers for certain notebook computers and mobile workstations present a potential safety concern. We are taking immediate action to address this issue including a voluntary recall and replacement of the batteries.”

If this story has provoked a certain degree of déjà vu in your mind, that’s probably not surprising, given that at the start of last year, HP issued a battery recall due to fire risk concerns. Ho hum...

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