Dodgy laptops land HP in hot Chinese water

The growing number of complaints about HP laptops that are failing Chinese users has prompted legal action against the US giant in the Populous Republic.

Lawyers have asked the Chinese government order a recall of the laptops on behalf of 170 consumers, the FT reports having seen the complaint.

The complaint was delivered to the General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) on Monday. It demands a recall of the afflicted machines or, at least, an exchange or buy-back scheme after an investigation of the issues.

The problems with the laptops are related to graphics chips made by Nvidia, whih Charlie Demerjian ably predicted woud carsh and burn.

According to Laweach, a non-profit organisation operating on behalf of miffed consumers, some HP laptops sold in China since 2007 have been overheating and suffering screen failures on what the FT described as a "massive scale".

Nvidia admitted in July 2008 that some of its chips were dodgy. Laptop suppliers such as HP offered extended warranty on some laptop models but not in China. The plaintiffs claim this is discriminatory.

“We have also noticed that HP in the US offered consumers extended warranty periods for even more models and compensated them for transport costs, but in China, it has not made a statement or offered services, and openly discriminated against Chinese consumers,” the complaint says.

HP is yet to comment on the case.