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HP launches worldwide laptop recall over fire safety fears

(Image credit: Image Credit: Monoar / Pixabay)

HP has issued a “worldwide voluntary safety recall” following fears that several of its laptop models that are experiencing battery problems that could result in them catching fire.

So far over 50,000 devices have been affected in just the US and Canada, with HP saying that 15 models of its laptops sold worldwide between December 2015 and December 2017, along with any replacements purchased from HP or its authorised suppliers, could be hit. 

Eight reports of “overheating, melting or charring” have been documented on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's (opens in new tab) page about the recall with one device causing $4,500 dollars worth of property damage and another leading to a user receiving a first-degree burn on their hand. 

Being as most of the affected batteries are internal and not user-replaceable, HP has decided to provide users with free battery replacements from its authorised technicians. 

The company has also released a new BIOS update to deal with the issue which adds a “battery safety mode.”  After installing the update, any affected laptop will fully discharge its battery and only function when plugged into the wall until the mode is disabled after a battery replacement.    

HP is strongly recommending that users with one of the laptops in question download and activate safety mode as soon as possible.  If a user is unsure as to whether their device is affected, the company is providing a downloadable utility (opens in new tab) that will check to see if their device contains a recalled battery.  

If you or anyone at your organisation is currently using an HP laptop, downloading the utility or looking up the model number to see if the device's battery has been recalled is an absolute must to prevent a fire from occurring at your home or workplace. 

Image Credit: Monoar / Pixabay

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.