HP Says No Battery Recall Necessary
Hewlett-Packard has no plans for a battery recall, despite efforts by several of its competitors to replace millions of notebook PC battery packs.
The Palo Alto, Calif., computer giant said that, following a review, it did not see reason to replace notebook battery packs containing lithium-ion cells manufactured by Sony that were shipped with some of its notebooks. Manufacturing defects in some Sony lithium-ion cells have lead to battery packs overheating and even a handful of notebook fires. The condition has lead to the recall of more than 7 million battery packs to date by several top manufacturers.
HP's decision, which the company said in a statement was based on a review of its product design and the lack of any reports of problems from its customers, reinforces its original position that its notebooks were unaffected by similar problems. However, it comes just days after Lenovo Group, which also originally said it was unaffected, and Toshiba each issued recalls for 526,000 and 830,000 packs, respectively. Meanwhile, Sony announced a commitment to work with all PC makers in an effort to replace any additional potentially faulty battery packs as necessary.
Even though it uses similar components as the other computer makers, HP officials say the company designs its PCs somewhat differently.
"Customer service and safety are a top priority for HP. After discussing the issues with Sony, we believe that we have the proper charging and circuit protections in place to prevent an overheating episode," Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Notebook Business Unit, in Houston, said in a prepared statement. "While no battery is immune to failure or overheating, battery solutions provided by HP are unique and are designed with a number of HP engineered safety features that are in addition to what is typical in the industry."
HP and Sony have agreed that there are currently no safety issues involving HP battery packs that use either 2.4 amp-hour or 2.6 amp-hour Sony battery cells, the companies said in the statement.
To date, Apple Computer and Dell, along with Fujitsu, Lenovo Group and Toshiba have issued battery pack recalls or said they would issue recalls in the near future.
Dell began the wave of recalls with a campaign to replace 4.1 million batteries, announced on Aug. 14. Apple followed with the recall of 1.8 million battery packs on Aug. 24.
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