Some of the latest MacBook Pro models — sold as early as 2017 — are being voluntarily recalled by Apple as they pose a “fire safety risk”.
According to the recall notice issued by Apple yesterday, affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017. The recall does not apply to other models sold within the same time frame.
“Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” the tech giant said in a statement.
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But before rushing off to your nearest Apple store, here’s how you can check whether your model is affected.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR MODEL
Simply follow this link, and scroll down to the box that asks for your serial number. All you need to do is type in your serial number and hit Submit.
Depending on the product, you can find your serial number:
1. On the surface of your product.
2. In iTunes, if your product syncs with iTunes.
3. On a Mac, by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu.
4. On an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iPod, or Apple Watch, in Settings > General > About.
If your model is eligible, the company has asked consumers to “please stop using it” and follow instructions to have the battery replaced.
The good news is: Apple has already confirmed they’ll be forking out for the cost of repairing your laptop.
“Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge,” their statement read.
So, in all cases, your device will be sent to an Apple repair centre for service.
But there is some bad news: After your laptop is examined to verify eligibility, the service may take one to two weeks. Not only will you be offline for a while, but Apple has said this won’t extend your warranty.
Customers are advised to back up their data before reaching out to Apple via:
1. Finding an Apple authorised service provider
2. Making an appointment at an Apple retail store
3. Contacting Apple support to arrange mail in-service via the Apple repair centre
Last April, the company also issued a battery-related recall for some 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros, but that one wasn’t considered a safety issue.
I WARNED APPLE
Sunshine Coast director and cinematographer Gareth Lee said he warned Apple’s legal department in April about the problem.
“I spent a month arguing with them to repair a $3700 15-inch MacBook Pro after it swelled over Christmas — presumably a diode inside doesn’t stop trickling charge at 100 per cent,” he said.
“They resisted to the end, and finally, their legal department accepted liability and paid the repairs.
“As I mounted an argument to support my case, I did some digging for any similar events.
“Apparently, they recalled a 13-inch model at an earlier date for similar reasons, and I pressed them to acknowledge this was a repeat of that event but with the 15-inch model.
“They resisted initially, saying the battery was a ‘consumable’ within the (out of warranty) device.
“I strongly disagreed with their argument and always went back to it being a safety issue, the overall cost of the laptop, Steve Jobs’ mantra ‘it just works’ and the additional body damage as a result of the swelling.
“With all this, I still do appreciate Apple’s ethics and standards. Their position in this case seemed to be initially steadfast, seemingly dreading any fallout of this magnitude a recall.
“Nowadays, I detach the charge lead when not using it for long periods — especially in an office environment.”
Mr Lee’s correspondence with Apple reveals fears about the safety of his MacBook Pro.
“In the middle of 2018, I in fact became aware that my MacBook Pro 15 inch was rocking on its belly on my desk. It’s unfortunate I didn’t act when I first detected the fault because this was actually within my computer’s warranty period (mid-2018),’ he said.
“This laptop was purchased to use in a home office and has spent its entire life in that office on my desk.
“I immediately contacted Apple (30th March 2019) when I finally took a closer look and realised the safety issue.
“I was told not to use the laptop and he cited danger in continuing to have it plugged into mains power.
“There is no doubt this issue is a serious fire hazard.
“As indicated in the ‘iLove Computers’ repair report, the laptop hasn’t come into contact with any liquid.
“I would encourage Apple Legal to please understand my position and consider the circumstances for which I failed to initially raise this hazardous battery fault when it in fact first presented itself during the product warranty period.
“In the past decade I’ve purchased $50,000 or more in Apple goods and don’t regret any of those products.
“I would like to continue enjoying Apple products in work and play.
“Your consideration in affording me some grace in repairing this expensive and fairly new MacBook Pro under warranty will bode well for our family tradition of consuming Mac products for many more years.”
— With Mark Furler