At last, HP has decided to officially recall the Chromebook 11 charger, due to “fire and burn hazards,” HP said. The charger “can overheat and melt.”
This problem caused HP to yank the PC off the shelves last month.
Although it stopped selling new Chromebooks in mid-November, about a month after the PC was in stores, it didn’t recall the ones it had already sold. It told owners to simply use a different changer, relying on the idea that Chromebooks use a standard-size USB charger.
However, last week, Consumer Reports’ Glenn Derene decided to check out the overheating issue and discovered it was pretty bad. The charger they tested heated up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Just for some context, water heated up to 140 degrees can cause third degree burns within five seconds.
Worse than that, Derene discovered that plugging in another charger didn’t work very well. The Chromebook gave this error message: “Low-power charger connected. Your Chromebook may not charge while it is turned on.”
Derene concluded, “So as far as we’re concerned, that’s definitely not a long-term solution” and wondered why HP didn’t recall the charger and replace it.
So today, HP made that move.
Here’s the statement HP just sent to us about the recall.
With guidance and approval from the CPSC and other regulatory agencies, Google and HP are recalling the original charger for the HP Chromebook 11. Customers should visit http://chromebook.com/hp11chargerform to request a free replacement charger. We apologise again for the inconvenience this has caused. Your safety is our top priority. With our partner Google, we are resuming sales of the HP Chromebook 11. All new packages will include the replacement charger.
The good news is that none of this affected the larger HP Chromebook 14, which we hear has been popular this holiday season. The downside, of course, is that HP lost precious time during the peak of holiday shopping to sell the smaller 11-inch device.
We’ve asked HP to let us know when the Chromebook 11 will be back in stores and will update this post when we hear back.