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HP's Massive Battery Recall: What You Need to Know

After reports of overheating laptop batteries, HP has recalled about 160,000 lithium-ion battery packs used in some laptops.

Hewlett-Packard has recalled about 162,000 lithium-ion batteries used in its HP and Compaq laptop computers. The announcement, made late last week by HP and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), adds additional battery packs to a recall program announced just a week earlier.

Here's a brief FAQ:

What's wrong with the batteries?

The recalled lithium-ion packs can overheat and rupture. They pose fire and burn hazards to consumers.

Have people been hurt?

Yes. Since May 2010, HP has received 40 additional reports of laptop batteries that overheated and ruptured. These incidents resulted in 7 burn injuries, one smoke inhalation injury, and 36 cases of property damage.

Which laptops are affected?

Certain battery packs shipped worldwide in HP laptops manufactured between July 2007 and May 2008. HP earlier recalled 54,000 defective batteries in May 2010, and 70,000 in May 2009. Just five percent of HP laptops included in the recall program contain defective batteries.

The CPSC site has a chart that lists all laptop model numbers and battery bar codes associated with the recall to date.

My laptop is on the list. What should I do?

Remove the battery from your computer and contact HP. The company's validation process at its Notebook PC Battery Pack Replacement Program website will help you determine if your product is affected.

I checked my battery during one of HP's earlier recalls, and it wasn't on the list. Everything's OK, right?

Not necessarily. Even if your battery wasn't included in previous announcements, HP urges you to check again.

Looks like I have a defective battery. What's HP going to do about it?

It'll provide a free replacement battery pack.

I want to contact HP about this recall. How can I reach them?

Go to the HP Battery Replacement Program website at www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement or phone 888-202-4320 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Can I use my laptop without a battery?

Yes. Once you've removed the defective pack, use the AC adapter to power your laptop until a replacement battery arrives.

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