HP taking heat over Chinese laptops

Hewlett Packard has been forced to extend the warranties on an undisclosed number of laptops sold in China after their graphics cards overheated.

The move is seen as an effort to head off potentially costly lawsuits heading its way, as the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is conducting an investigation after receiving complaints from 60 consumers. The actual number of affected PCs is likely to be substantially higher.

HP has now begun offering extended two-year warranties on computers which have had repairs because of the fault. It is discussing compensation for users who paid shipping costs to return the broken computers for repair.

Lawyers working on behalf of miffed Chinese customers contend that extending the warranty would not make the problem go away and asked the government agency to further investigate the cause of the failures.

HP has said it is co-operating with the investigations.