By Craig Zammit and James Wells

SYDNEY: Hewlett Packard (HP) in Asia Pacific has commenced a voluntary recall of 3,768 faulty removable lithium-ion battery packs for certain HP and Compaq notebooks as part of a global recall of the Chinese-made batteries.

According to a report by the Product Safety Section of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), there is a risk of cell overcharge in the battery packs. This may cause the battery pack to fail with the cell rupturing and/or releasing gas pressure and thermal energy, melting the plastic and producing smoke and/or fire.

HP has received 20 reports globally of batteries overheating, including one minor burn injury. Eleven cases of minor property damage have been reported.

“There have been no reports in Australia of batteries overheating. However, if the customer’s battery has been identified as part of the replacement program, in the interests of safety, it should be replaced,” said HP Australia consumer notebook product manager, Nicholas Lynch.

The affected notebooks in Asia Pacific are the HP Pavilion DV1000 Family, Compaq Presario V2000 family, Compaq M2000 family, HP Pavilion ZE2000 family and the HP Compaq NX4800 family.

The defective battery packs have a barcode starting with L32901551 and were manufactured between 1 January 2005 and 10 January 2005. Free replacements have been offered to all affected consumers worldwide.

HP recommends affected consumers continue to use their laptops via an A/C power source until a replacement battery can be arranged.