HP has announced it's recalling about 52,000 batteries in select laptop models and mobile workstations due to overheating issues and potential fire and burn hazards. The company said on Thursday (4 December) that it is initiating the voluntary safety recall and replacement programme for batteries that were included in select units sold globally between December 2015 and December 2017.
The company received eight reports of lithium-ion batteries overheating, melting or charring including three reports of property damage amounting to $4,500 (£3,316). One incident led to a minor injury involving a first degree burn to the hand.
Affected laptops include the HP Probook 64x (G2 and G3 series), HP ProBook 65x (G2 and G3 series), HP Envy M6, HP x360 310 G2, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11 notebook computers as well as HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) mobile workstations. Affected batteries for the HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation were also sold as accessories or replacement batteries.
Many of these batteries are internal to the system, which means they cannot be removed and replaced by customers themselves.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, these laptops had been sold at popular retail outlets including Amazon, Best Buy, HP.com and other websites. While 50,000 of the affected batteries were sold within the US, another 2,600 were sold in Canada.
"This action pertains to approximately 0.1 percent of the HP systems sold globally over the past two years," a HP spokesperson told CNET. "We are taking immediate action to address this issue including a voluntary recall and replacement of the batteries."
The company has set up a recall site and offered those impacted a free battery replacement. It will also help arrange to have a technician safely replace the batteries at no cost.
"HP is providing battery replacement services by an authorized technician at no cost," the firm said. "HP is also providing a BIOS update that places the battery in 'Battery Safety Mode' so that the notebook or workstation can be safely used without the battery by connecting to an HP power adaptor."
By placing it in Battery Safety Mode, the battery will discharge and be prevented from charging until the safety mode is disabled. Users will still be able to use the device if connected to an HP power adaptor.
HP says it "strongly recommends" using this mode if your laptop or mobile workstation is affected.
To find out if your unit is affected, users can download an HP Battery Validation Utility application to verify if your battery is defective.
"HP's primary concern is for the safety of our customers," the company said. "HP is proactively notifying customers, and will provide replacement battery services for each verified, eligible battery, at no cost. For customers with 5 or more potentially affected batteries, HP has put in place a process to assist with validation and ordering."
The recall comes nearly a year after HP recalled over 100,000 laptop batteries due to overheating issues and fire risks, expanding an earlier recall from June 2016 when 41,000 units were recalled.