Google, HP Recall Faulty Chromebook 11 Charger - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
05:06 PM
Connect Directly

Google, HP Recall Faulty Chromebook 11 Charger

Nine instances of chargers overheating and melting have been reported.

Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

One month after halting sales of the HP Chromebook 11 following complaints about charger failures, Google and HP, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, have issued a recall of the micro-USB charger that comes with the device.

The recall notice says that Google has received nine reports about these chargers overheating and melting. Though no fires have been started as a result of the malfunction, one person reported minor burns, and another reported minor damage to a pillow.

The recall affects about 145,000 units, a figure that reflects distribution, rather than sales.

The defective charger, which is made in China by Leader Electronics, is model No. MU15-N1052-A00S. The designation can be seen on the same side of the charger as the outlet pins. Customers are advised to stop using the charger immediately.

[What else has Google been up to? Read Google Chromecast Adds 10 Apps.]

Caesar Sengupta, Google's vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post that Chromebook 11 buyers can visit this website to obtain a replacement charger at no charge. "We apologize again for the inconvenience this has caused. Your safety is our top priority."

HP posted a similar apology on its website. A company spokesperson did not respond to a request for Chromebook sales figures. During the third quarter of the year, HP was the leading seller of PCs in the US by volume, according to IDC.

While waiting for a replacement charger, customers can use any micro-USB charger approved by Underwriters Laboratories.

Google and HP are also resuming sales of the HP Chromebook 11, now that the charger issue has been addressed. Despite the setback, Chromebooks continue to attract hardware partners. Last week, Dell announced that it intends to begin shipping a Chromebook for the education market in early 2014. Dell is the last of the major Windows PC makers to start making Chrome OS hardware.

Sometime next year, a Chrome OS tablet may emerge. Google hasn't committed publicly to one, but it has presented the possibility through a concept drawing on its website. This year, Chrome OS gained some technology that a tablet would require. The Chromebook Pixel debuted with touchscreen support, and in October, Google engineers added a virtual keyboard to Chrome OS.

If a Chrome OS tablet does debut, it may come from Asus, which is planning to enter the Chromebook market in early 2014. In mid-2013, Asus CEO Jerry Shen reportedly told investors his company would launch a Chromebook in late 2013 -- a deadline that apparently will be missed. If the device turns out to be a Chrome OS version of the company's Transformer notebook, the detachable screen effectively would be a Chrome OS tablet.

Thomas Claburn is editor-at-large for InformationWeek. He has been writing about business and technology since 1996 for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. He is the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and his mobile game Blocfall Free is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.

IT groups need data analytics software that's visual and accessible. Vendors are getting the message. Also in the State Of Analytics issue of InformationWeek: SAP CEO envisions a younger, greener, cloudier company (free registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2013 | 3:55:29 PM
Won a Chromebook!
Just arrived today, yippie!
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 8:44:21 AM
Re: Power
I'm always surprised more lawsuits don't come out of these overheating battery instances. You'd think someone would get hurt and get a lawyer gunning for punitive damages. 
User Rank: Strategist
12/18/2013 | 7:39:29 AM
Re: Power
If i am not wrong, in January HP agreed to pay $425,000 in a civil penalty for not reporting the problems with its lithium-ion battery packs. I hope none of the other devices are affected by this recall.
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2013 | 8:15:21 PM
Sounds like the Dell PS for laptops that had issues 5 or 6 years ago. I'm glad that Google and HP are ontop of this but where is the quality control? Ahhh  made in China... say no more.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll