"These batteries have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers", said HP. HP estimates that around 50,000 units sold in the United States have bad batteries, plus another 2,600 in the Canada. Models affected are: all ProBook 640, 645, 650, and 655 models in the G2 and G3 series, the HP ZBook 17 G3 and G4, the HP ZBook Studio G3, the HP x360 310 G2, the HP Pavilion x360, the HP Envy M6, and the HP 11. "HP customers affected by this program will be eligible to receive replacement battery services for each verified, affected battery at no cost".
"For customers with five or more potentially affected batteries, HP has put in place a process to assist with validation and ordering". One person reportedly suffered a first-degree burn to the hand. Affected batteries were also sold as accessories during the period.
Critically, though, the modern obsession with thin-and-light - and, to be less generous, built-in obsolescence - means that numerous above models have internal batteries which are not user replaceable. While in "Battery Safety Mode", the laptops can still function safely while connected to an HP power adaptor.
The site is offering a utility that users are expected to install and run on their laptops to find out if their batteries run the risk of overheating.
Note that this is only the recall of the batteries and not the laptop itself.
"HP's primary concern is for the safety of our customers", a company statement read. If the latter two are not available on the computer, users can download the fully-loaded battery validation utility program instead.