A recall of a popular line of laptops has been issued after reports that batteries suddenly burst into flames. Laptop owners can check their device to see if it is affected by downloading a utility program, linked below.
The battery issue is present in HP laptops sold worldwide from December 2015 to December 2017. A tool developed by HP, that can be downloaded onto your computer, will check to see if your laptop is at risk of catching fire.
The laptops affected include the following: HP ProBook (64x G2 and G3, 65x G2 and G3), HP x360 310 G2, HP ENVY m6, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11 notebooks, and HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, Studio G3). Even if you don’t see your model here, it is recommended that you download and run the utility tool just to be sure.
HP’s recall comes after eight reports of batteries ‘overheating, melting or charring’, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
This included one incident leading to a first-degree burn, while three others caused damages up to £3,300 ($4,500).
HP has not yet provided technical details about why the batteries are overheating.
The firm said it is notifying customers and will provide a trained technician to replace the batteries for free, as they are integrated into devices and cannot be replaced by users.
In the meantime, the Palo Alto, California, based computer company has issued an update which puts the systems into a ‘battery safe mode’.
This lets people continue to use the computers by plugging into power outlets instead of using the potentially combustible batteries.
In a written statement, a spokesman for the company said: ‘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.
‘Batteries affected by this recall have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers.
‘HP’s primary concern is for the safety of our customers.
‘This action pertains to 0.1 per cent of the HP systems sold globally over the past two years.’
The list of machines with the problematic lithium-ion batteries included Probook, Envy, Pavilion, Zbook, Studio G3, and HP 11 models.
Some batteries targeted for recall were also sold as accessories or replacements through HP or authorised service providers.
Here is how the verification tool will check your computer and protect it from fire.
To check whether your HP device is one of the models affected by the recall, download the HP Battery Program Validation Utility here.
If the validation process identifies a battery as being eligible for replacement, a BIOS update will be applied and the system will reboot.
During the reboot process, an option will be presented to enable Battery Safety Mode.
Accepting Battery Safety Mode causes the battery to discharge and to cease future charging until Battery Safety Mode is disabled.
HP strongly recommends accepting Battery Safety Mode so that the notebook or mobile workstation can be safely used by connecting to an HP power adapter.