HP recalls battery in more than 15 notebooks to prevent possible burns, damage

There’s nothing worse than a laptop that’s on fire – literally – and HP wants to prevent that possible heated experience by recalling a specific battery pack used in more than 15 different products. Currently, there are eight accounts of the defective battery pack “overheating, melting, or charring,” one of which led to a first degree burn on a customer’s hand. Three of these incidents caused property damage costing a total sum of $4,500.

HP customers may therefore want to check their laptop’s battery to see if it falls on HP’s recall list. Here are the affected models:

HP ProBook 640 G2
HP ProBook 640 G3
HP ProBook 645 G2
HP ProBook 645 G3
HP ProBook 650 G2
HP ProBook 650 G3
HP ProBook 655 G2
HP ProBook 655 G3
HP ZBook 17 G3
HP ZBook 17 G4
HP ZBook Studio G3
HP x360 310 G2
HP Pavilion x360
HP Envy m6
HP 11 Notebook PC

The notebooks listed above don’t necessarily use the defective battery, so customers will need to download HP’s Battery Validation Utility to see if their laptop does indeed rely on the recalled pack. If it’s present, the utility will instruct customers to download and install a BIOS update that will place the battery pack in Battery Safety Mode to prevent possible harm and/or damage. Consider this method as a temporary fix until you can arrange a proper battery replacement.

“If the validation process identifies a battery as being eligible for replacement, the BIOS update should be applied, and the system should be rebooted,” the company says. “’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.”

As described by HP, the battery pack is simply disabled until it’s replaced. But for many laptops found on the recall list, that could be a problem. The battery isn’t easily removable, thus customers must send their laptop to an authorized HP technician — though at no financial cost. With a little online research, HP customers could manually replace the defective battery by removing the bottom plate, but that may violate the laptop’s warranty, and give HP’s certified technicians less to do.

By placing a battery pack in Battery Safety Mode, it will not receive a charge, forcing laptop owners to rely on the supplied power adapter. Once the laptop’s updated BIOS detects a new battery, it will disable Battery Safety Mode, enabling the new pack to receive a charge. Note that customers aren’t required to replace the defective battery, and can continue to use their laptop using only the external power adapter.  The battery is essentially deactivated in Battery Safety Mode, and supposedly won’t cause any damage in this state.

Of course, no one wants a possible firestorm residing in their laptop, even if it’s slumbering inside. For more information, here’s everything you need to contact HP:

  • Phone: 1-888-202-4320
  • Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT – Monday through Friday
  • Online 1: HP.com/go/batteryprogram2018
  • Online 2: hp.com/us/en/hp-information/recalls.html

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