Image: HP

Even though the government shutdown ended more than a month and a half ago, we’re still feeling its effects. That’s because, despite HP issuing an expansion for a battery recall back in January, the notice wasn’t posted to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website until earlier this week due to the shutdown.

HP’s latest battery woes actually stem back to a recall covering 50,000 affected units first issued in January 2018, which was then expanded earlier this year to include another 78,500 or so at-risk systems and battery accessories. Meanwhile, on the most recent recall alert posted by the CPSC on March 12th, a note at the top of the CPSC website says “This recall expansion was previously announced independently on January 17, 2019 by the firm due to US government furlough.”

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HP’s laptop battery recall primarily affects a number of the company’s commercial notebooks including various HP ProBooks and HP ZBook workstations, though there are a few consumer laptops mixed in there such as the 11-inch HP Pavilion x360 and HP Envy m6. Some recalled batteries were also sold as accessories or replacement batteries for existing laptops for systems such as the HP Envy 15 and assorted HP Mobile Thin Clients.

So far, the CPSC says HP has received eight new reports of these faulty battery overheating, melting, and charring, with one instance of a recalled battery causing minor injury.

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Consumers with laptop batteries who think they might be subject to recall are asked to go to this website and download HP’s Battery Validation tool to check if their battery needs to be replaced, as some of the systems affected by the recall have internal batteries that are not user replaceable.

HP says it is also trying to proactively notify customers, and if a battery is determined to be part of the recall, HP says owners should stop using the system immediately and put the system in Battery Safety Mode via HP’s BIOS update. From there HP will provide free battery replacement for affected units.

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Screenshot: HP

To see a full list of recalled products and accessory batteries, check out the list above or visit HP’s recall page here. Hopefully the next time a big recall pops up, instead of having workers sitting on their hands caused by political posturing, the government can make sure its workers are available to help get the word out.

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