Did you purchase an HP laptop between December of 2015 and December of 2017? If so, then you may have problems.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has been made aware of eight instances where HP battery packs overheated, charred, or melted, creating a worrisome fire hazard that has gotten the attention of user groups scattered all over the internet.
It also got the attention of HP itself, and the company recently announced “a worldwide voluntary safety recall and replacement program” for laptops shipped during the timeframe mentioned above.
If you own one of the following models, you may be impacted:
- HP ProBook 640 G2
- HP ProBook 645 G2
- HP ProBook 650 G2
- HP ProBook 655 G2
- HP ProBook 640 G3
- HP ProBook 645 G3
- HP ProBook 650 G3
- HP ProBook 655 G3
- HP ZBook 17 G3
- HP ZBook Studio G3
- HP ZBook 17 G4
- HP x360 310 G2
- HP Pavillion x360
- HP ENVY m6
- Or the HP 11 Notebook PC
You can visit HP’s website and download a tool you can use to test your laptop to see if it has one of the defective battery packs. A BIOS update is also available that will safely and completely discharge the battery. Although of course, until you get a replacement, you’ll only be able to power your laptop via the AC power supply.
According to the company, “Many of these batteries are internal to the system, which means they are not customer replaceable. HP is providing battery replacement services by an authorized technician at no cost.”
While it’s a nice gesture, it would be even better if the company hadn’t shipped the defective batteries in the first place and caused a major inconvenience to its customers. This most recent recall comes on the heels of another one less than a year ago, in which the company recalled more than 100,000 similarly defective laptops at the end of January, 2017.
If you recently bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro (without a Touch Bar), you’ll want to head to Apple’s website. The company didn’t make a big announcement, but they’ve quietly introduced a battery replacement program that impacted what the company described as a “limited number” of laptops.
The company didn’t provide many details, but apparently, on certain machines an unknown component failure can cause the built-in battery to swell. There’s no danger of an explosion and no fire hazard associated with the failure, but the company is playing it safe and offering to replace the batteries on any affected laptop, free of charge.
According to details on Apple’s website, the laptops in question were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017. If you visit the webpage, you can enter your machine’s serial number to see if your machine is affected, and thus eligible for the free replacement.
At this time, it’s unclear precisely how many machines this issue has impacted. But clearly, Apple wants to put this issue to rest as quickly as possible.
Battery swelling is a strange symptom, but surprisingly, this is not the first time Apple products have suffered from similar issues. Not long ago, Apple’s 42mm Smart Watches suffered a similar problem, prompting the company to issue a similar recall. The company also recently extended their warranty on first-gen Apple Watch models by two years, offering free battery replacements for up to three years after the date of purchase.
These recent moves have caused iPhone owners to cry foul. On the heels of the Apple “Throttling” drama last year, the company offered a discounted battery replacement program to help bring older iPhones with failing batteries back to full speed. While Apple’s $29 discounted battery price is a significant savings over the regular price of $79, some users argue that the batteries should have been free for these products as well.