HP issues Australian laptop battery recall: What you should do
If you’ve purchased an HP or Compaq-branded laptop in the past few years, you may need to arrange to swap out its battery to avoid fire risk.
HP Australia, as part of a worldwide recall of batteries for selected HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP Envy and HP Pavilion Notebook has issued a recall on batteries supplied with selected HP laptops sold in Australia between 1 March 2013 and 30 August 2015. The specific listed issue in this case is that the batteries have the potential to overheat, leading to a fire risk.
HP advises that consumers with affected systems can contact HP for a replacement battery to be shipped out to them at no cost, even if the unit itself is out of warranty. For any laptop sold in 2013 or 2014, that’s quite likely to be the case. However not every battery in every laptop sold by HP is affected.
How can I tell if I’ve got a bad HP battery?
HP provides two methods for consumers to determine if they have a battery that may be prone to the overheating problem. A software tool available from HP’s web site will scan HP systems to check the specifics of your notebook and inform you if there is an issue. It does require HP’s Software Framework and .net 4.5 framework to operate, however.
If you’re not keen (or able, for business reasons) to install HP’s tool, you can also check the details of your battery manually. This will involve removing the battery and checking its bar code number, as well as the serial number of the laptop in question, and then entering those details on HP’s web form. If the barcode number on the battery starts with 6CGFQ, 6DEMA, 6CGFK, 6EBVA, 6CZMB, 6DEMH, 6BZLU or 6DGAL then it may be one of the compromised batch.
What if I want to use my HP notebook in the meantime?
Notebooks still need power, but it’s not going to be worth the risk if you do identify that you’ve got a laptop with the potential to catch fire. HP does advise that you should be able to use any of its laptops with the battery removed when plugged directly into power. As such, while it would tether you to a desk, that’s got to be less risky than actually scorching your lap or worse by continuing to use a bad battery.