Faulty Apple laptops revive fears of battery fire

MacBook Pro owners can use their laptop's serial number to check on Apple's website if the product is affected by the recall

New Delhi: With several international airlines banning some older models of Apple’s flagship laptop MacBook Pro in both check-in or hand luggage, including in India, fears of battery fire have returned to haunt users of the device.

In June, Apple announced a voluntary recall of its faulty 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there’s a chance that the devices sold between September 2015 and February 2017 could overheat and potentially cause fires.

The iPhone-maker reportedly said it had received 26 reports of the laptop’s battery overheating, with as many as five consumers reporting minor burns and one suffering from smoke inhalation.

Nearly 432,000 potentially affected MacBook Pro units were sold in the US and 26,000 in Canada.

Apple issued a similar replacement programme last year for the latest 13-inch Pros over issues related to battery expansion.

In 2016, battery fires in Samsung’s flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 7 caused the firm operating losses of some 6.1 trillion won ($5 billion).

Galaxy Note 7 “launched in August 2016 amid much fanfare” was poised to be in direct competition with the Apple flagship iPhone 7 and Google flagship Pixel.

However, batteries started exploding and devices caught fire while charging, forcing the South Korean giant to recall 2.5 million units worldwide in September.

The company encouraged Note 7 owners to swap their devices with new ones, but the replacement Note 7 devices too caught fire, leading to production being stalled in October. The Galaxy Note 7 device finally landed up in the junkyard.

Samsung Electronics acknowledged that faulty battery caused its flagship Galaxy Note 7 to catch fire, after discontinuing the fire-prone device.

A mix of thin separators between the positive and negative layers, abnormal squeeze in battery corners, abnormal bump in battery surface and absent insulating tape caused the Note 7s to explode and set on fire.

MacBook Pro owners can use their laptop’s serial number to check on Apple’s website if the product is affected by the recall.

The recall does not affect other units or Mac notebooks, says Apple.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also banned the affected laptops on all flights.