Half a Million MacBook Pros May Have Overheating Batteries

2015 MacBook Pro
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Last week, Apple issued a rare voluntary recall for a slate of 2015-era 15-inch MacBook Pros due to defective batteries that could actually pose a fire safety risk due to overheating. As outlined by Apple, the Voluntary Recall and Replacement Program encompasses units sold between September 2015 and February 2017, and only those identified by specific serial numbers.

It was originally unclear how many MacBook Pros were affected by this recall — Apple only said “a limited number” of units contain a specific battery that has the problem. However, as MacRumors notes, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada, which have issued a joint recall announcement with Apple, approximately 432,000 units of the affected product were sold in the United States, plus 26,000 in Canada, adding up to a total of 458,000. It’s unclear, however, whether any affected units were sold in other countries, so the actual number could still be larger.

Notably, the joint announcement also reveals that Apple received 27 actual reports of incidents where the battery overheated; five of those involved minor burns, one involved smoke inhalation, and 17 included reports of minor property damage.

Apple has received 26 reports of the laptop’s battery overheating, including five reports of minor burns and one report of smoke inhalation, as well as 17 reports of minor damage to nearby personal property.

Health Canada added that there were no reports of injuries in Canada.

Users can determine if their MacBook Pro is affected by entering their serial number on Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page, although it’s worth adding that this problem only affects the “Mid 2015” 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. You can determine which model you have, as well as finding your serial number, by clicking on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and selecting About This Mac, however there’s no need to worry about your serial number unless your model is identified as a “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)”

Apple, the CSPC, and Health Canada have jointly advised consumers who are affected by the problem to immediately stop using the recalled laptop computers and contact Apple to schedule to have the battery replaced, which will be done free of charge. Affected customers can have the replacement done at an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple Retail Store, or contact Apple Support to arrange to send their MacBook Pro in. Apple notes that service may take between 1–2 weeks, so you’ll have to be prepared to live without your MacBook for a period of time, although that’s definitely preferable to having it catch fire.

The CSPC is also encouraging users who have already experienced an incident with this specific MacBook Pro model to report the details using the online form. While this isn’t at all necessary to be eligible for the recall and repair program, it will help the CSPC collect data on how many consumers are affected and the nature of the issue.

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