The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced on 23 January that HP would pay US$ 425,000 to settle a claim that it deliberately sold laptops with unsafe batteries that could heat up or catch fire.
HP had come to know about 22 incidents related to the faulty batteries by September 2007 but it failed to take any action until the next 10 months, the commission further said.
“In at least two of those incidents, the products caused injury to consumers. In at least one of those incidents, the consumer apparently went to the hospital,” the Commission said in a settlement agreement with HP.
The lithium-ion battery packs were either sent with new HP laptops or they were offered as accessories and spare parts. Because of their defect, they could overheat, causing burn injuries and fire threats, the commission added.
HP has now recalled around 32,000 lithium-ion battery packs. Dell and Toshiba too have followed suit; they have also recalled their battery packs that were manufactured by Sony.
Although HP has agreed to pay the compensation, the company refuted the allegation that its laptop batteries posed a serious risk or that it had breached the Federal laws.
As far as the recalling of the lithium-ion batteries are concerned, it acted “in accordance with the CPSA and in its customers’ best interests,” HP said in the agreement.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that it was willing to listen to incidents that involved the lithium-ion battery packs. Consumers can share their grievances at the SaferProducts.gov website.