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HP recalls six million laptop power cables due to fire risk

Stop using them now
Wed Aug 27 2014, 11:30
HP is recalling notebook chargers following fire risk reports

CONSUMERS have been advised to back away from HP and Compaq laptops with power cables that could radically heat up their homes, laps and insurance policies.

The recall is a global one, according to the firm, and HP told the INQUIRER that it is working with a number of government agencies in the safety drive.

"In cooperation with various government regulatory agencies, HP has announced a worldwide voluntary recall and replacement programme for certain AC power cords used with AC adapters shipped with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers, as well as with AC adapters provided with accessories such as docking stations, sold from September 2010 through June 2012." it said.

"HP customers affected by this programme will be eligible to receive a replacement AC power cord for each verified, recalled AC power cord at no cost. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. Your safety is our top priority."

According to a safety recall from the US Product Safety Commission (USPSC), power cable models are getting so hot that they are burning people and their things. The USPSC said that anyone selling the products should stop right now, and anyone using one should do the same.

The power cords should be easy to spot, and the recall advises users to look out for relevant markings, not scorch markings, on the cables.

Only a small number appear to be affected, but you've been warned, so it might be time check your cord and consider filling a bucket with water - not while it's plugged in though, to avert further potential injury.

"The power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and with AC adapter-powered accessories such as docking stations. The power cords are black in colour and have an "LS-15" molded mark on the AC adapter end of the power cord," the USPSC said.

"HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage. Customers should immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett Packard to order a free replacement. Consumers can continue to use the computer on battery power."

The 'good' news is that users can continue to use their four-year-old hardware on battery power, and that HP will send out a replacement cable upon receipt of a dubious one.

If you do start working on something on battery power, while waiting for a new cable, we would recommend regularly saving your work. µ


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