That's definitely not right. Appreciate the extended field report - hopefully your dealer at least exchanged units for you? Certainly a worrisome problem. I presume the 18650 cells work normally in other lights?
I was out of town for 5 weeks or so - Iraq, Indonesia & Philippines and just made it to the dealer tonight. It was a frustrating night - I brought in 2 broken eagletacs (G25C2 & SC200) and 2 broken Fenix's including the HP30.
He spent a while on the lights trying to get them going - and we did figure out 1 issue with the HP30. As the batteries get low you can only use it in low like most lights. The difference is, it has a capacitor and when you put new batteries in it still only works on low. The cure for that was to hold the power button down for 5 seconds and then it would work with new batteries. However the switch and cable were bad and we had to mail it in. Same with the Eagletacs which have a 6 month turn around time.
So here's my frustration: I'm on the road for over a month trying to travel as light as possible in war zones and a hurricane. I didn't bring the HP30 with me but 3 of the 4 lights I did bring broke/failed somewhere on the trip. Usually for the sake of travelling light I blow the warranty off and ditch the light. You just can't be packing around bags full of broken electronics in my job! (Besides this I had 2 Garmin GPS units go out!)
So after carrying around broken junk for a month, I take the time to go to the dealer and now I've got no lights and have to wait 3 months for for fenix and 6 months for eagletac!
Fenix and Eagle suck!