Overheating power chargers for some Hewlett-Packard Chromebook 11 machines has spurred a recall of the chargers after some owners reported problems with the units. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the recall Dec. 17 and is advising Chromebook 11 owners to immediately contact HP and Google for a free replacement charging unit.
The overheating charger problem with the Chromebook 11 machines arose in November when Google and HP halted sales of the devices after reports came in about overheating issues for some users, according to a Nov. 13 post on the Google Chrome Blog.
In an update to the original post Dec. 17, Google announced the charger recall for all HP Chromebook 11 units that have been sold so far. "Customers should visit http://chromebook.com/hp11chargerform to request a free replacement charger. We apologize again for the inconvenience this has caused. Your safety is our top priority."
Google also announced that sales of the Chromebook 11 devices will again resume and that they will ship with improved chargers that aren't affected by the recall.
Google has provided a detailed FAQ page for consumers to answer many questions about the recall and how users can get their replacement charger for their device. The recall affects all units that were purchased before Dec. 1, 2013. Even if the existing chargers do not appear to have a problem, they should not be used and a free replacement should be ordered, according to the CSPS.
While waiting for their replacement chargers, customers can safely use "any other certified micro-USB charger, for example one provided with a tablet or smartphone," to charge their Chromebook 11, according to Google. Customers can also call a toll-free hotline in the United States at 866-628-1371 for more information.
In the United Kingdom, customers can call 0-800-026-0613, while in Ireland users can call 1-800-832-664. In Australia, customers can call 1-800-067-460 for more information.
Customers do not need to produce a copy of their Chromebook 11 purchase receipt to get a replacement charger. The new replacement charger will be sent within 30 days of the customer's request.
The charger was manufactured in China by a third party, according to Google and HP. The CSPC recall number for the chargers is 14-061. The recall is being conducted because the affected chargers can overheat and melt, causing burns to users, according to the agency. Some 145,000 chargers are affected by the action.
The affected chargers are black and measure about 1.75 inches by 0.75 inches, with a 6-foot-long cord with a micro-USB connector on the end. The model number of the charger is MU15-N1052-A00S, which is stamped on the face of the battery charger that has the outlet pins, according to the recall notice.
"Google has received nine reports of chargers overheating and melting during use," the agency stated. "There is one report of a small burn to a consumer and one report of minor property damage to a pillow from an overheating charger."