Overheating HP Chromebook 11 chargers recalled due to fire and burn risks

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Google is telling all HP Chromebook 11 owners to send back their chargers, after nine users reported melting and overheating during use.

The recall affects all HP Chromebook 11 laptops purchased before December 1. HP and Google pulled the laptop from store shelves in mid-November, roughly a month after launch.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Google received nine reports of problematic chargers. One user suffered a small burn, and another reported damage to a pillow after the charger overheated.

Those who bought the Chromebook 11 should fill out Google's online form for a replacement charger. Google will also send a prepaid shipping package for returning the original charger, so it can be disposed of properly.

In the meantime, users can charge the Chromebook 11 with any micro-USB charger, such as those that come with Android smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, recharging this way can take longer, especially while the laptop is in use.

Google and HP have yet to resume sales of the Chromebook 11, but the laptop should be back on store shelves with the replacement charger soon. The laptop is currently listed as “no longer available” from Best Buy, and “coming soon” on Google's Website.

Oddly enough, the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recall notice provides the most concrete look at Chromebook sales figures to date, noting that roughly 145,000 units are subject to the recall. That's not an encouraging figure, but Acer could be having more success with its Chromebooks, which start at $200. Web usage statistics suggest that Chromebooks haven't been big sellers, but the NPD Group says they account for more than 20 percent of all sub-$300 laptops sold.

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