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Apple recalls older 15-inch MacBook Pros because the batteries could catch fire

Apple recalls older 15-inch MacBook Pros because the batteries could catch fire


If you’ve got a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, you’ll want to read this now

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Overheating batteries are no laughing matter, so this may be urgent: Apple has just issued a recall for the 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina Display, saying its batteries “may pose a fire safety risk.”

The company says there are a “limited number” of affected units, sold between September 2015 and February 2017. That could easily be quite a number of laptops over that span. But the company sold that third-generation MacBook Pro between 2012 and 2018, so we’re definitely not talking about every 15-inch rMBP ever sold.

If you know someone who’s holding onto that model — the one with the full-size ports and taller keyboard that doesn’t easily get crippled by dust — you may want to have them check their serial number now at Apple’s support website. Yes, that includes The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel. We’ve told him. He knows.

The model you’re looking for is the “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015),” whose specs you can find here.

A new lease on life for your trusty old MBP?

If eligible, the company says it’ll replace your battery for free, meaning your older MacBook Pro may wind up lasting longer than it might have normally — much as older iPhones did when Apple offered $29 battery replacements as an apology for throttling the speed of those phones.

The bad news: You’ll need to send your MacBook to one of Apple’s repair centers, and the company’s estimating the fix could take one to two weeks. That’s quite a while, particularly if you need that machine for work. And Apple says this won’t extend your warranty.

In general, the company says the recall doesn’t affect any other MacBooks, so this shouldn’t affect the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display that was also sold between those same years. Last April, the company also issued a battery-related recall for some 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros, but that one wasn’t considered a safety issue.

We asked Apple what’s causing these batteries to overheat, but the company dodged those questions.

Apple knows it’s had a reputation problem with its newer MacBook Pros since 2016, and it’s clearly been taking them more seriously over the past year, offering Flexgate fixes and keyboard replacement programs for issues that the company might have traditionally ignored. (It also fixed that throttling bug.) It’s hard to say whether the overheating batteries are a newly discovered issue now that these batteries are aging, or one that Apple is finally dealing with all at once, but the recall is welcome either way.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most trusted sources of Apple rumors, believes that the company will release an “all-new” 16-inch MacBook Pro design later this year.