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HP recalls laptops on battery problem

HEWLETT-PACKARD Co is recalling more than 70,000 laptop batteries because of a potential safety hazard, the world's No. 1 personal computer maker said yesterday.

The HP and Compaq brand laptops, sold between August 2007 and March 2008, could catch fire due to the battery overheating, according to HP and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"HP and the battery manufacturer believe that certain battery packs shipped in HP notebook products may pose a potential safety hazard to customers. The batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard and could cause burns," HP said on its Website.

About 35,000 HP products with the batteries were sold in the Asia-Pacific region, according to HP China, without providing detailed numbers in the domestic market.

HP customers with a battery pack affected by this recall will be eligible to receive a replacement battery pack for each verified and recalled battery pack at no cost, HP said. It declined to reveal the name of the battery supplier.

Consumers can check the battery numbers on HP's Website to confirm if their products are involved in the recall.

The CPSC said it had received two reports of the batteries catching fire due to overheating, causing minor property damage but no injuries.

The recall may be another blow to the global personal computer industry, which is already grappling with the financial crisis that has deterred demand for PCs, especially in the enterprise PC sector. This year, the global PC sales will drop 10 percent year on year, according to consulting firm Gartner Inc.

Last year, other major PC makers recalled 100,000 batteries due to safety problems.



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