HPI Has Samsung-like Problem: Overheating Notebook Batteries

The company said that the batteries can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. It is requiring owners to replace them immediately.

Samsung, which literally had to put out a number of fires last year when its Galaxy Note 7 phone batteries kept getting too hot and burning up, isn't the only major IT device maker that's been having trouble with too-hot-to-handle batteries.

Hewlett-Packard Inc., which designs and manufactures laptop, notebooks and workstation PCs, has determined that the lithium-ion batteries used in many of its notebook PCs are too dangerous to leave in the units. So, on Jan. 24, it recalled about 101,000 of them to be replaced.

The company said that the batteries can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards. It is requiring owners to replace them immediately.

"Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled batteries, remove them from the notebook computers and contact HP for a free replacement battery," HPI said in a media advisory. "Until a replacement battery is received, consumers should use the notebook computer by plugging it into AC power only."

HPI Last Had a Battery Recall in June 2016

HPI had a battery recall in June 2016 for the same reasons. Batteries previously identified as not affected in the earlier recall could be included in this expanded announcement, the company said. Users are urged to recheck their batteries against the models in this recall, HPI said.

Regarding incidents/injuries, HP said it has received one report of the battery overheating, melting and charring and causing about $1,000 in property damage.

One report might not seem enough to warrant the recall of 101,000 batteries, but in light of Samsung's previous problem and a skittish consumer environment, HPI is taking no chances.

Details on the Recall

Units: About 101,000. An additional 41,000 batteries were previously recalled in June 2016. About 3,000 were sold in Canada and 4,000 in Mexico, HPI said.

Description: This expanded recall involves lithium-ion batteries containing Panasonic cells that are used in HP notebook computers. The batteries are compatible with HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion notebook computers.

HP has expanded the number of recalled batteries, which were shipped with notebook computers sold between March 2013 and October 2016. The black batteries measure about 8 to 10.5 inches long, 2 inches wide and about 1 inch high. The battery bar code is printed on the back of the battery. "HP Notebook Battery" and the model number is printed on the battery.

The batteries included in this expanded recall have bar codes starting with: 6BZLU, 6CGFK, 6CGFQ, 6CZMB, 6DEMA, 6DEMH, 6DGAL and 6EBVA.

Sold at: Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club and authorized dealers nationwide and HP's website and other websites from March 2013 through October 2016 for between $300 and $1,700. The batteries were also sold separately for between $50 and $90.

Importer: HP Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

Manufactured in: China

User contact information: HP toll-free at 888-202-4320 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at http://www.HP.com/go/batteryprogram2016 or http://www.hp.com and click "Recalls" at the bottom of the page for more information.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...