HP Expands Recall of Older Laptop Batteries

By Andy Patrizio

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Hewlett-Packard on Friday expanded its worldwide recall of notebook batteries for laptops sold between 2007 and 2008 in a variety of notebooks due to the risk of catching fire.

The list of affected laptops covers a range of price points and laptops sold under the HP, Pavilion, Compaq and Compaq Presario brand names. This voluntary recall is an expansion of another battery recall issued in May 2009, and was made in association with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The CPSC warning cautions, "Consumers should immediately remove the batteries referenced above from their notebook computer and contact HP to determine if their battery is included in this recall (even if the battery was previously checked). Consumers with recalled batteries will receive a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. HP recommends that only batteries obtained from HP or an HP authorized reseller be used with HP notebook PCs."

HP (NYSE: HPQ) is said to have received an additional 38 reports of the lithium ion batteries getting heated up and rupturing after the first recall. In 11 of the incidents, the faulty batteries caused minor injuries, according to the CPSC. Another 31 other cases detailed reports of property damage.

The batteries are in laptops sold from August 2007 through July 2008. The problem is surfacing now because laptop batteries degrade with use and over time lose their charge.

Users will receive their replacement battery at no charge. The company has set up a page for users to check their battery serial number against the ones being recalled to see if they qualify.

Batteries seem to be a weak spot for a number of device makers. HP has had two recalls now. Nokia (NYSE: NOK) had one in 2007 and Sony (NYSE: SNE) was hit with a huge recall in 2006. Most famously, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) has its problem with erupting batteries in 2006 as well.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.