The batteries, which were made in China, are used in several HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario notebooks. A full list of affected models is available on the HP website.
The batteries were assembled between 1 January and 10 January 2005 and sold in systems throughout last year.
An internal failure can cause the affected batteries to overheat, melting or charring the plastic case and posing a fire hazard.
HP has so far received 20 reports from consumers of overheating units. One user reported minor burns, and property was damaged in 11 cases.
The US Consumer Product SafetyCommission has recommended that consumers immediately stop using systems with the affected batteries.
HP stressed that the issues are limited to the batteries and do not affect the actual notebooks. As users await their replacement battery, they will be able to use their computers with the power adapter.
The company had to recall 135,000 laptop batteries last year, but insisted that the two incidents are not related.