HP forced to recall laptop batteries due to fire hazard

HP building

HP has recalled batteries in 50,000 of its laptops in the US and Canada because of a fire hazard, although it's only a voluntary recall, suggesting the risk isn't that high.

Models with the batteries installed are the HP ProBooks (64x G2 and G3 series, 65x G2 and G3 series), HPx360 310 G2, HP Envy m6, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11, HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) Mobile Workstations, shipped between December 2015 and December 2017. The same batteries were sold as replacements for the HP ZBook Studio G4 mobile workstation.

So far, eight of the company's machines have combusted, with users reporting "overheating, melting or charring," of the batteries. Three of those caused a total of $4,500 worth of property damage, with another causing an injury to the user's hand, suggesting the other five weren't so serious.

HP said it's asking owners of the listed devices to head to authorised technicians to replace the battery as many of them are internally housed and can only be exchanged by opening the laptop up. In the meantime, those using one of the affected devices should enable battery safe mode.

Battery safe mode discharges the installed battery, meaning it'll only work if the laptop is plugged into a mains power supply, bypassing the battery itself.

If you're unsure whether your HP laptop is using one of the affected batteries, you can download a specially developed utility that will check the battery installed and flag if it needs replacing.

HP's no stranger to product recalls. It recalled HP ENVY, Compaq Presario and HP Pavilions in 2016 because of the possibility of their batteries overheating and the Chromebook 11's chargers, which were prone to bursting into flames.

Image: Shutterstock

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.