HP firmware fix to digital cameras prevents tragic overheating mistake
Washington (DC) - While the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has had its hands full recently handling sold here whose rechargeable batteries tend to overheat, yesterday’s recall of an estimated 224,000 HP Photosmart R707 digital cameras concerns an overheating problem of another kind altogether : The camera can cause a burn hazard, the Commission learned - probably through someone else who learned the hard way - when a user pops in a set of non-rechargeable batteries by mistake.
The brand specifically mentioned by the CPSC was Duracell CP-1, which is indeed a lithium camera battery with a street price of about $10, but not a rechargeable one. While Hewlett-Packard is honoring the recall and cooperating with the CPSC, it’s also for the R707, through the company Web site. Once flashed to the camera, the upgraded firmware will prevent the camera from trying to charge a non-rechargeable battery.
Late last April, HP was by a string of CPSC safety recalls involving manufacturers of notebook computer batteries. The Commission’s investigation continues, as more notebooks are turning up that rely on batteries manufactured by a surprising minimum of overseas firms. By comparison, yesterday’s digital camera recall is probably, at least for HP, a flash in the pan.