Last month, Apple issued a voluntary recall of certain MacBook Pro models because of fire safety risks associated with their batteries. Now, a new user report might demonstrate why Apple made that decision — as well as the dangers of not taking the recall seriously.
Designer Steven Gagne of Pensacola, Florida was in bed on the night of Monday, June 17 when his MacBook Pro exploded.
“The sound of it was what first threw me for a loop; but then the smell of a strong chemical/burning smell is what got me,” Gagne wrote in a Facebook post.
Gagne said that had he put the device “uncharacteristically” on a coffee table — since he typically leaves it on the couch or in a basket with notebooks and journals. As you can imagine, the situation may have been a lot worse if it was near flammable materials.
“I really believe that this prevented my house from burning down,” he said.
The images on the Facebook post show a MacBook Pro with a round hole in its aluminum chassis — that’s apparently where the battery burned through the device. There were also burn marks around the trackpad. Additionally, Gagne shared images of some of the damage to his coffee table and floor.
Worryingly, Gagne said that the device was “unplugged, and in Sleep Mode,” and that the top cover was closed at the time of the incident.
The designer wrote that the incident will change his mind about where he stores his notebooks in the future. He also urged other MacBook owners to check the serial numbers of their devices to see if they are part of the recall.
As mentioned earlier, Apple has voluntarily recalled the 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro because a small number of units may have batteries that can overheat and pose a fire risk.
Apple issued the recall on June 20 — a full three days after Gagne’s MacBook caught fire. It isn’t clear if Gagne alerted Apple to the incident, but a DJ named White Panda posted to Reddit about his own MacBook Pro-caught fire on May 30.
As part of the recall, Apple is replacing the defective batteries for free. But the service process requires that users have their devices sent into an offsite Apple Support facility, even if they take their MacBook Pro models into a brick-and-mortar service center.
What You Should Do
Apple’s 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro, which was sold until 2017, is a popular device due to the fact that it sports a chiclet-style keyboard and more port diversity than newer models. Because of that, many users are still holding onto the notebook and others are buying them used, even now.
But it goes without saying that if you have a 15-inch MacBook Pro, you should immediately stop using it and check its serial number on this Apple webpage to see if it’s impacted by the recall.
As Gagne’s and White Panda’s videos both show, there may be definite dangers to ignoring the recall.
Even if you don’t have that specific 15-inch MacBook Pro, keep a close eye on your battery. All lithium-ion batteries can fail under certain circumstances. If you notice any swelling on your own Mac notebook, immediately stop using it and take it to Apple.