MacBook Pro battery bulge: time for a recall?

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Hi, I look after product development for CBS Interactive in Sydney - which lets me develop a range of websites including CNET Australia, and ZDNet Australia.

While Apple hasn't yet aknowledged the issue, there seems to be cause for concern as early MacBook Pro adopters notice the battery in the laptop swelling up and causing random shutdowns.

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MauricioP posted a comment   

Im taking Apple Australia to the Fair Trading Tribunal over this issue. Its occurred on my out-of-warranty 2007 MBP 17in. Will let you know how it goes


Keithm posted a reply   

I have exactly the same machine with exactly the same problem. It seems to be happening in plague proportions all over the world, with mixed results: some batteries are replaced on request, others they say out of warranty, too bad! It would be fair enough if the battery just wore out, but bulging disabling the trackpad? Give me the PowerBook 1400! Apple really should recall these batteries. A car company would have to recall batteries that behaved like this!


Deebee posted a comment   

I experienced the bulging battery problem on my 17" Macbook Pro last night. I had no idea what had caused it because since purchasing it in 2007 I have treated it like my prize possession. I showed my daughter-in-law this morning and she told me to have a look on the net as someone else may have had a similar problem... boy I was shocked to see how common this problem is. I phoned Apple support about it because I was worried after reading that someone was told to remove the battery immediately. I am really really cheesed off with the way I was treated on the phone. First I was told that I can't really get support because the computer is no longer under warranty. I persisted saying I was worried about what the danger may be. The guy kept evading my questions and stating that because the computer "IS SO OLD" (yeah, 3 years old... geriatric... must be time for it to be admitted to the computer nursing home!) that the battery cells would not be working properly anymore causing the battery to swell. He even went on to say the same thing happened to his mobile phone battery and asked "haven't you seen that happen with a mobile phone?"(... well no actually... never). He told me I would have to take the computer into a service centre (only a 3.5 hour drive for me) to have the computer looked at and I may have to buy a new battery. Don't you find it frustrating that Apple must know that this is a manufacturing problem as they have replaced many with no questions asked and yet some of us are given the old... out of warranty... your problem, not ours treatment. After getting off the phone I reminded myself that I can't complain about the service... cause there is none! Grrrrr


Teri posted a comment   

I just brought my 17" MacBook Pro that I got in 2006 into an Apple Store yesterday because the battery recently began to swell. To my surprise, they replaced it free of charge, even though I did not have AppleCare. I guess they recognized it as a defect on their part, no matter how old it might have been.


WyoWolf posted a comment   

Wow, reading all of this is making me thing Apple screwed up on the batteries. Mine has actually popped the cover off and the mouse has stopped working as well. Thank god I have a spare travel mouse laying around. The battery swelled so much that some keys popped off the keyboard and bent part of the aluminum casing by the Ethernet port. I hope they will cover this under warranty since I got the extended warranty plan. I had better get a new keyboard as well since none of this is my fault. Oh and the battery will only last about 30 minutes if that, and bulged so much I can't pop it out. Sorry for being so random in writing this.


Droow posted a comment   

Same here, bulged overnight. Called apple, they told me to take the battery out IMMEDIATELY! gave them the serial number of the machine and replacement is being sent out no q's asked.

The weird thing is, I've not used this machine for about a year since i dropped it and cracked the screen. I fixed it last week and that's the first it's been used in ages!?!?


Guy_in_Belgium posted a comment   

The problem seems to persist. Identical symptoms here with a 17” MB Pro bought late June 2007. Random shutdowns, and then suddenly the battery starts to swell. It does not stand flat on the table anymore, and the trackpad and its button become useless. Several e-mails (with scary pictures) to Apple Belgium (because that’s where I live), but no reply so far. Are they still in the phase of denial?


Peter posted a comment   

same problem here...2 mac laptops in the family and within a month of each other BOTH laptop batteries swelled...but since Apple 'isn't even aware there is a problem' we decided never to buy these pieces of SH?T ever again...we are going pc from now on...


sgurl posted a comment   

I am having the same issues with my 17" macbook pro as well... bulging battery, random shut offs with no notice, trackpad problems and it wont click anymore, this all happened within the course of about a week. It went downhill fast. When i called to set up an appointment the lady at the apple store was very rude and asked me, "Are you sure it's a battery problem?" and considering my battery is bulging so bad right now that it wont even sit flat...i said "uh... have you been listening to me at all?!" I have an appointment today to get it fixed, although it says online that I dont have apple care protection, which I do. I have a feeling that's going to be another issue to deal with, considering I accidentially threw out the box, and just kept the apple care cd, and the box had the serial number in it.... but I still have my receipt, so i'm keeping my fingers crossed.....


aznttboy posted a comment   

After the disappointing support call to Apple's SOS Hotline, I made a reservation to see a Genius Bar specialist at a local Apple retail store. After explaining my reason for the visit and showing him the defecting battery, which has now swelled to more than 2x the normal thickness of a brand new battery, he immediately said that they will give me a replacement for free after doing the required paperwork.

I asked him if Apple has had a lot of this kind of battery issues and what the cause may be. He said that he has dealt with a few similar cases before, but had no explanation as to the cause of the problem.

Anyway, Apple's SOS Hotline staff can probably benefit from more training (know when to stick to company policies and when they should reasonably make an exception and feel empowered to do so), while the Genius Bar staff was extremely professional and handled my hardware issue effectively.

If this had been an issue with a Dell purchase, and there is a Dell retail outlet that I can visit to speak to one of the Dell Reps, I doubt the situation will be resolved to my satisfaction (especially within 30 minutes)

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