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MacBook Pro battery recall: is your laptop affected?

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An Apple recall is a rare event, but as with many laptop manufacturers before it, Apple has fallen foul of overheating batteries. Is your laptop affected? Here we have full details of the MacBook Pro battery recall.

Which MacBook Pro laptops are being recalled?

The recall applies specifically to 15in MacBook Pro laptops sold largely between September 2015 and February 2017. It only applies to selected units, so if you bought a 15in MacBook Pro in or around that period, visit the support page on the Apple website and punch in your laptop’s serial number to check if it’s part of the recall.

Will my MacBook be replaced if it is one of the affected units?

No, only the laptop’s battery will be replaced, not the laptop itself.

Here comes the really bad news – that process could take up to three weeks. If you’re dependent on your MacBook for work, you will need to come up with a Plan B. It’s highly unlikely that Apple are going to lend you a laptop for the interim period.

Before you send the laptop off to Apple – the various options for returning the laptop are listed on the support page – you should take a backup of your personal data, in case the laptop is beyond repair or damaged during the repair process.

I’ve been using my MacBook for years and not had a problem with it. What’s the chances of it going wrong now?

According to Apple, there’s a chance the batteries may overheat and “pose a fire safety risk”. While it’s pretty unlikely your laptop will burst into flames, laptops run at seriously hot temperatures, and if that battery implodes when the device is being used on your lap, for example, that could result in very serious burns.

You might think that the chances of the battery failing after a few years of use are slim, but an overheating battery might be slowly eating away at the insulating material that protects laptop batteries.

If your laptop is on the recall list, I wouldn’t advise risking it. Apple’s own safety notice recommends that you stop using the laptop and Apple is about the last company on Earth that would needlessly scaremonger its own customers.

Is there any upside to this MacBook Pro battery recall?

I can see two potential upsides. Firstly, if you have been using your MacBook for three or four years, the battery will be in a pretty poor state through natural wear and tear. You’re about to get a free replacement that could extend the life of your laptop beyond what you expected. The components inside those MacBooks should still be plenty powerful enough for most tasks.

The second upside is you now have a great bargaining chip. If I had an affected laptop, I’d pay a visit to my local Apple Store and inquire if the faulty unit could be traded in for a sizeable discount on a new one. I wouldn’t use my quietest voice whilst doing this, either.

Apple is always spectacularly conscious of its image and its customer service. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it offered you a very healthy trade-in deal on a new model.

NOW READ THIS: How do I turn my MacBook into a Wi-Fi hotspot?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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