HP Extends Laptop Warranty after China Starts Probe

Company apologized over complaints of flawed computers

Hewlett-Packard issued an apology on March 15 and extended the warranty for certain laptops after China launched an investigation into consumer complaints of faulty products.

The General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said it was investigating complaints filed by 60 laptop users that certain HP computers were defective.

"HP apologizes to our customers and regrets any inconvenience incurred," Isaiah Cheung, vice president and general manager of the Personal Systems Group for HP China and Hong Kong, said. "HP is implementing an expanded customer care program in China... for customers with certain HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario notebook PCs."

More than 500 laptop users have contacted lawyers claiming their computers were flawed, Jiang Suhua, a lawyer representing some of the consumers, said, with some requesting a recall. Most of the complaints, dating back to 2007, focus on overheated graphic chips and display screen problems.

So far only 60 complaints have been successfully filed with the product quality agency, he said.

HP, which last week said it had a limited warranty service enhancement program starting November 2007, claimed the latest expanded customer care package would "address customer concerns directly." But Jiang said his clients were "unsatisfied" at HP's response and needed an explanation on whether the products had defects.

China has detailed rules on the recall of automobiles, food, toys and medicine but has yet to establish a law governing the recall of flawed products such as consumer electronics and home appliances.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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