Fire Risk Leads To Recall Of 6 Million Hewlett-Packard PC Power Cords
Eric Hopton for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Hewlett-Packard Co. has announced a Safety Recall and Replacement Program which affects around 6 million personal computer AC power cords sold in the United States, Canada and online worldwide as a result of reported problems with overheating, melting and a potential fire risk.
On August 26 HP gave details of the voluntary program which has been set up “in cooperation with various government regulatory agencies.” The affected power cords were distributed worldwide with HP and Compaq notebooks and mini notebooks. Also affected are a number of AC adaptors which were supplied with accessories like docking stations. The defective cords, which are labeled LS-15, were sold between September 2010 and June 2012. It is important to note that not all cords marked with the LS-15 label are affected by the fault.
In its announcement HP states that it believes “certain power cords shipped with notebook PC products and AC adaptor accessories may pose a risk of a fire and burn hazard to customers.” The program also covers AC power cords bought as spares with no limit on the number of such spares. Any consumers who are affected by this program are being offered a no-cost replacement by the company.
Michael Calia, writing for the Wall Street Journal, claims that HP has received 29 reports of the cords overheating and melting and that, as a result of the incidents, there have been “two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.” These figures are attributed to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner which urged customers to immediately stop using the affected cords and contact HP.
The procedure for validating a claim and requesting a replacement is available on the HP website but begins with the instruction to unplug the power cord from the wall unit before getting started. The customer is then required to state their country and give an email address so that HP can deal with the claim.
There is a link on the Recall Program page to a number of FAQs. HP reminds customers that it is not recalling any notebooks or adaptors – only the cords themselves. The company also stresses that they do not believe the faulty cords could have caused damage to the notebook or adaptor as the “issue identified is with the power cord only.”
Although many users may have experienced no problems with cords acquired during the period covered by the program, HP recommends that they should still use the recall validation page to obtain a replacement and states that, “To reduce the likelihood that a power cord failure will cause damage, you should immediately cease use of the recalled power cords.”
Replacement cords will not be available through HP-approved service partners – the only route is via the HP website. However, HP does say that claimants do not have to return one of the affected cords before being sent a replacement and the company is providing instructions on safe “disposition of the recalled power cord.” The new cord should arrive within 3 to 5 working days but may take up to 10 days depending on the user’s location.