Photo: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo
by AJ Dellinger
Apple announced Friday that it discovered “a limited number” of its line of MacBook Pro laptops suffer from a potentially faulty component that can cause the battery to expand. The company is offering to replace the batteries in affected machines for free.
According to Apple, the potential problem is present in the 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro. Only the base model of the machine is affected; versions of the laptop with the Touch Bar are not at risk. The units with the possible defect were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017, though it isn’t clear exactly how widespread this issue is.
Apple will determine the eligibility for repair through a device’s serial number. The company has set up a website where users can determine if their MacBook Pro will qualify for the free replacement battery.
For those that are eligible for the fix, be ready to be without your laptop for a little. Apple warns that service can take up to three to five days, and may require the device be shipped to the Apple Repair Center.
Apple is also offering the opportunity for a refund to any MacBook Pro owners who already got their battery replaced and paid the $129 fee typically charged for the service.
If you own one of the devices that are at risk, Apple says you have nothing to fear: the expanding battery “is not a safety issue,” according to the company. Still, you’re probably better to be safe than sorry on this one. Apple will be offering the replacement program for five years from the date of sale of the unit.
This marks the latest in a growing number of battery-related issues that have hit Apple products. Last week, the company announced that it would extend the warranty on some Apple Watch Series 2 devices after it was discovered that there were issues with the battery expanding. The original run of Apple Watches suffered from a similar issue. Apple has also investigated reports that the iPhone 8 was plagued by battery swelling.
On a positive note, none of Apple’s battery problems have resulted in a widespread recall or instances of explosions like Samsung Galaxy Note 7owners were exposed to last year. Apple is also known for being pretty good about taking care of repairs, so hopefully most of the seemingly isolated incidents of battery swelling will be addressed by the company.