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HP recalls more laptops for 'fire and burn hazards'

News of the battery recall was delayed because of the government shutdown.

Pavilion x360 circa May 2016.
Josh Miller/CNET

The US Product and Safety Commission on Tuesday announced a "battery safety" recall of about 78,500 HP laptops for what the UPSC calls "fire and burn hazards." 

HP requested we emphasize that it's recalling the batteries, not the laptops. Given that most batteries are nonremovable by end users, it amounts to the same thing on your end -- you still have to ship your laptop off somewhere. However, it does mean that the company replaces the battery, not the entire laptop, so the distinction matters a lot to them. (Like cars getting recalled for faulty airbags.)

HP initiated the recall in January 2018, and expanded it in January 2019, but the news hadn't widely circulated because of the US government shutdown. The UPSC finally posted the news to its site on Tuesday with the explanation, "NOTE: This recall expansion was previously announced independently on Jan. 17, 2019 by the firm due to US government furlough." (We spotted it via Tom's Hardware.)

This is part of a continuing series of battery recalls from HP. The Jan. 17 recall was for about 51,000 models, but 41,000 were recalled in June 2016 and 100,000 in January 2017, bringing the total for the past two-and-a-half years to almost a quarter of a million.

The recall applies to laptops sold between April 2015 and December 2018. Per HP:

Batteries affected by this program may have been shipped with specific HP Probook 64x (G2 and G3), HP ProBook 65x (G2 and G3), HP ProBook 4xx G4 (430, 440, 450, 455, and 470), HP x360 310 G2, HP ENVY M6, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11 notebook computers and HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) mobile workstations sold worldwide from December 2015 through April 2018. They were also sold as accessories or provided as replacements from December 2015 through December 2018 for the above products, as well as additional products through HP or an authorized HP Service Provider, including certain HP Mobile Thin Client products. 

HP also warns, "It is essential to recheck your battery, even if you did so previously and were informed that it was not affected. However if you have already received a replacement battery, you are not affected by this expansion."

If you suspect your laptop qualifies -- it doesn't apply to every model sold within that period -- you can download the validation utility from the recall page to check. 

Updated 1:30 p.m. ET: Added clarification from HP.

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