Sunshine Coast director Gareth Lee.
Sunshine Coast director Gareth Lee.

Overheating battery safety recall: 'I warned Apple'

TECH giant Apple has announced a voluntary recall of some of its 15-inch MacBook Pro units which contain a battery that may overheat and pose a safety risk.

The units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and can be identified by their product serial number.

The recall does not affect any other 15-inch MacBook Pro units or other Mac notebooks, Apple said.

Apple is asking customers to stop using affected 15-inch MacBook Pro units.

Sunshine Coast director and cinematographer Gareth Lee said he warned Apple's legal department in April this was impending.

"I spent a month arguing for them to repair an (out of warranty) $3700 15' MacBook Pro after it swelled over Christmas (presumably a diode inside doesn't stop trickling charge at 100%).

"They resisted to the end and finally their legal dept 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' 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' model.

"They resisted initially saying the battery was a "consumable" within the device, I strongly disagreed with their argument and always went back to - a safety issue, 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 released his correspondence to Apple revealing 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 it's belly on my desk. It's unfortunate I didn't act when I first detected the fault because this was actually within my computers warranty period (mid 2018).

"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 (by Lance from Apple), not to use the laptop and he sighted danger in continuing to have it plugged into mains power (works to that effect). 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 $50K+ in Apple goods and don't regret any of those products, "it just works".

"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."

In a statement on Friday, Apple said customers should visit apple.com/support/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall for details on product eligibility and how to have a battery replaced, free of charge.

To confirm which model you have, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen. If you have "MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)," enter your computer's serial number on the program page to see if it is eligible for a battery replacement.

News Corp Australia


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