There have been reports of overheating, even melted and charred cords
Overheating is not fun when you're holding a laptop in your, well, lap, but there are others parts of a laptop that could be in danger of growing too hot, other than the underside. Indeed, the underside is the only one with an excuse for it, since many of the cooling vents are located there, and blocking them is not fun.The latest overheating problem sweeping across the laptop market, however, is a bit more bizarre than others we've seen, because power cords usually don't have that problem.
Nevertheless, power cords are precisely what HP seems to have a problem with at the moment. And we're not talking about a few thousand either.
No, it seems that power cords sold in the United States and Canada from September 2010 up through the summer of 2012 have an overheating problem. That makes for roughly over six million laptop power cords. No pressure.
There haven't been that many reports of overheating, but with 29 people saying their cords overheat, and with some reports saying that the cables caused property damage or injuries, HP has to play it safe.
To be specific, some of the 29 reports of overheating power cords said the cables were charred or melted outright. Also, the 13 worst cases involved property damage and minor burns.
Clearly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sees this as serious business. Otherwise, it would not have caused HP to recall so many millions of power cords just for 29 reports.
HP is, naturally, replacing all the power cords for free. If you have a power cord model LS-15, you should really get in touch with the company's closest representative.
450,000 of the affected consumers live in Canada, while the remaining 5.550 million are from the United States of America. HP has apologized for the inconvenience this has caused, of course.
Product recalls happen pretty periodically, and overheating is definitely the most common issue. Other popular causes include faulty wireless antennas (or case materials that prevent the Wi-Fi or 3D radios from working properly), and rapidly degenerating components (which is usually caused by poor manufacturing).
Still, overheating is the main thing that leads to product recalls, because it's the most blatant sign that something is wrong. A defective sensor or other can be chalked up to bad luck, but potentially hazardous overheating is another matter entirely, hence HP's decision to recall so many power cords despite the low number of damage reports.