HP battery packs in safety recall

Shanghai Daily, May 31, 2011

Hewlett-Packard has recalled 162,600 battery packs used in its laptops because they can overheat, posing a risk of fire or burns.

HP said customers will be eligible to receive a replacement for each verified, recalled battery pack at no cost.

The company said on its website that it and the battery manufacturers believed certain battery packs shipped in HP notebook PC products manufactured between July 2007 and May 2008 could pose a potential safety hazard.

Customers in China are advised to contact HP through hotline 800-810-3888 or visit www.hp.com/support/batteryreplacement to determine whether their battery is included in the recall.

The recall was put in place after the discovery that the lithium-ion batteries can overheat and rupture.

Since 2010, there had been reports of seven injuries, one smoke inhalation injury and 36 reports of property damage involving HP products, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The recall is HP's third large-scale battery recall since 2009 when 70,000 batteries were involved. Last year, 54,000 were recalled.

The recall covers almost all HP's laptop brands including HP and Compaq.

Customers in China are advised to check notebook model numbers and battery bar codes. If their products are in the recall, HP will provide free replacement batteries with free delivery.

In the first quarter, HP led the global PC market with a 18.9 percent market shares, following Dell and Acer. But its sales dropped 2.8 percent year-on-year, according to US-based information technology research firm International Data Corp.

Almost all top PC vendors, including HP, face challenges from tablet computers like Apple's iPad. But it's not an excuse for HP to abandon product quality and safety, industry insiders said.

In China, consumers have complained about HP system software with security loopholes, uncommon shaking screens, overheating graphic cards and batteries with potential fire hazards since 2007, according to media reports.

China, now the world's No. 2 PC market, is expected to surpass the US to become the world's No. 1 PC market within the next two years, analysts said.