HP Recalls 70,000 Batteries on Fire Worries

Batteries in HP and Compaq notebooks are the subject of a safety recall after two incidents where the batteries overheated and caught fire.

It’s the latest incident of HP batteries being recalled: The company suffered similar problems last year, in 2006 and in 2005.

[cob:In_Focus]This week’s recall is voluntary and covers about 70,000 units, according to the announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The batteries are found in HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario and three miscellaneous models. The units were sold between August 2007 and March 2008 from a variety of vendors, including computer and electronics stores, hp.com and hpshopping.com online sellers.

HP is offering replacements through a replacement program. HP’s recall hotline is (800) 889-2031.

“We are proactively notifying you of this issue and are prepared to replace all verified, affected battery packs,” HP said in a message to customers on its Web site. The company also provided information to help customers determine whether their model notebook is affected.

With fire hazard safety recalls taking place at least four times over the past five years, the issue is becoming a bit of a pattern for HP.

In 2005, some 80,000 Pavilion and Presario batteries were recalled. In 2006 another 4,100 were recalled. Last year saw a massive recall of Sony batteries, which affected around 32,000 HP notebooks.

It’s not necessarily the company’s fault, however, since batteries are made by third parties.

Third parties’ fire hazard difficulties have stung other PC makers, as well. In 2006, Lenovo recalled more than 500,000 ThinkPad batteries, while Dell suffered a massive recall of its own that year.

An HP spokesperson was not available for comment.

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