HP’s global laptop battery recall expanded; more batteries found hazardous

In June last year, HP announced a voluntary global recall of a few laptop batteries that came with its laptops between March 2013 and August 2015. Today, HP has drastically expanded the recall program; batteries or laptops purchased from March 2013 until October 2016 must be checked for a potential hazard.

The affected batteries have “potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers.” This is some serious stuff.

HP notes that it is essential for customers to check their batteries – even if they have done so previously and “were informed that it was not affected.” The new list includes some models that were previously thought to be safe.

The Affected

HP’s model numbers are quite confusing; therefore, HP has made a handy tool that customers can install on their laptops to check if their batteries are affected. Additionally, there’s also a manual check.

Unfortunately, HP’s website has been running quite slow since the announcement of this recall expansion. It seems that the traffic is simply too high for HP to manage; the web page does load – it just takes very long.

If you would like to give the tool a try or check the battery by manually entering its serial number and other information; here’s the link.

HP’s site also mentions the specific range of barcodes and serial numbers that are affected, but it’s quite complicated. These are the battery bar code number ranges affected, per HP:

  • 6BZLU^^^^^^^^^
  • 6CGFK^^^^^^^^^
  • 6CGFQ^^^^^^^^^
  • 6CZMB^^^^^^^^^
  • 6DEMA^^^^^^^^^
  • 6DEMH^^^^^^^^^
  • 6DGAL^^^^^^^^^
  • 6EBVA^^^^^^^^^

However, HP emphasizes that “not all batteries with bar codes matching the pattern below are affected.” That’s where things get complicated; using the automated utility, or the manual tool is perhaps for the best.

HP also lists the devices that were shipped with these batteries, but notes that not all of them will have an affected battery. Here’s the list:

  • HP
    • HP 240 / HP 245 / HP 246
    • HP 450 / HP 455
    • HP 250 G1 / HP 255 G1
    • HP 650 / HP 655
    • HP 1000 / HP 2000
  • HP Compaq
    • Compaq CQ45
    • Compaq CQ48
    • Envy dv6
  • HP Pavilion
    • Pavilion 14 / Pavilion 15 / Pavilion 17
    • Pavilion g4 / Pavilion g6 / Pavilion g7
  • HP ProBook
    • ProBook 440 G0 / ProBook 440 G1 / ProBook 445 G1
    • ProBook 450 G0 / ProBook 450 G1 / ProBook 455 G1
    • ProBook 470 G0 / ProBook 470 G1 / ProBook 470 G2
    • ProBook 4440s / ProBook 4441s / ProBook 4445s / ProBook 4446s
    • ProBook 4540s / ProBook 4545s

In addition to that list, HP has also listed the laptops that are compatible with the affected batteries but do not ship with them. This is mostly for resold laptops that might have an affected battery but did not ship with one originally. Here’s the list:

  • HP
    • HP 243 G1
    • HP 430 / HP 431 / HP 435 / HP 436
    • HP 630 / HP 631 / HP 635 / HP 636
    • HP G42 / HP G56 / HP G62 / HP G72
  • HP Compaq
    • Compaq 435
    • Compaq 436
  • HP Compaq Presario
    • CQ42 / CQ43 / CQ45
    • CQ56 / CQ57 / CQ58
    • CQ62
    • CQ72
    • ENVY 15
    • ENVY m6
    • ENVY TS 15
  • HP Pavilion
    • Pavilion dv6
  • HP ProBook
    • ProBook 4330s / ProBook 4331s
    • ProBook 4435s / ProBook 4336s
    • ProBook 4530s / ProBook 4535s / ProBook 4730s
    • ProBook 430 G2

The Precaution

Batteries, at the end of the day, are a somewhat stable chemical reaction. A hazardous battery is not only a danger to you, but also to everyone around you.

HP’s expanded recall remains to be voluntary; a mandatory recall would have a sense of urgency. Samsung did one just last year, which lead to the failure of the S7 Edge.

If you find that the battery is indeed affected, the best way to avoid a hazard is not to use the battery – that means not using the device.

On most laptops, once the battery is removed, it is possible to use the device with power from the wall; of course, this means that the laptop is no longer portable – but that’s only until you receive the replacement battery.

Hopefully, HP will sort the troubles with its website soon enough, as the automated utility – or even the manual tool – is critical for HP’s customers.

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