Overheating Laptop Batteries Prompt Consumer Recall
When they are used properly, consumer products should not pose a risk of injury to the consumers who buy and use them. However, serious product defects frequently result in recalls, and those recalls often occur only after one or more people have sustained injuries. According to a recent report from CNET, Hewlett Packard (HP) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have recalled more than 52,000 laptops due to the risk of fire and subsequent burn injuries. Yes, that is correct: if you own one of the recalled HP laptops, the battery could start a fire and could cause serious or even fatal burn injuries.
These laptops were sold in Florida and throughout the country. If you own an HP laptop, it is important to pay careful attention to the recall notice. And if you were injured recently because of a product defect, you should learn more about filing a claim for compensation by speaking with a Boca Raton product liability lawyer.
Computer Product Defects Exposing Consumers in Florida to Risks of Harm
How are computers posing a serious risk of burn injuries to consumers? According to the report, the batteries in these products “have a potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard.” A spokesperson for HP recently announced the defect, emphasizing that certain people who own laptops that shipped between December 2015 and December 2017 should contact the company immediately to learn about a replacement battery. Since the batteries are sealed within the HP laptops, consumers cannot simply remove the battery themselves and replace it with a new one. Instead, HP will need to handle the replacements.
Some of the models that are affected by the recall, including certain ProBook, ZBook, x360, Pavilion, Envy, and 11 Notebook models. HP already knows about eight separate incidents in which a computer battery overheated, melted, or charred. In one cases, a consumer sustained a first-degree burn on the hand. In three additional cases, consumers sustained property damage up to $4,500 due to the battery defect.
Reconsidering Product Defects and Consumer Injuries
According to data from Statista, there were more than 4,200 product recalls in the U.S. in 2015, and that number shows a decline from previous years. If we presume that number looks similar for the last couple of years, there are thousands of product recalls annually. While not all of those recalls cause injury—or even run the risk of serious or life-threatening harm—they indicate that thousands of products have defects. The Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII) clarifies, however, not all product defects are the same.
In some cases, product defects are design defects. Which means that the product has a flaw in the way it was designed. In other cases, products have manufacturing defects. When a manufacturing defect exists, it means that the design of the product is not flawed, but a flaw occurred during the manufacturing process. And the third type of product defect is a marketing defect. In these situations, there is nothing physically wrong with the product, but it was marketed in such a way that the company selling the product failed to warn consumers about potential risks associated with its use.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer in Florida
Were you injured after using a defective product? A Florida product liability lawyer can help. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC for more information.