Stop Using Your 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2019/06/20/stop-using-your-2015-15-inch-macbook-pro/

Apple has issued a recall for certain 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between 2015 and 2017 due to a fire hazard caused by overheating batteries, and Apple even says to not use affected computers until they’re repaired.

Most of these are NOT impacted. People should check their serial number before panicing.

https://www.apple.com/support/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall/

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Mine…purchased in Feb 2016…shows on the web site as “may be eligible”.

I don’t know how they’ll verify whether it is unless it’s just by serial number.

Still though…I’m not panicking. Mine’s not caught fire and we routinely shut off the power strips powering it and my wife’s 2013 MBA at night…and it hasn’t caught fire yet so I wonder what the real deal is.

I hope they release some better info in the next few days so folks can tell whether theirs is under the recall or not…

Just heard from a friend who had his battery in a 2015 MacBook Pro replaced a few weeks ago because it was swelling and expanding the case such that it no longer sat straight.

I have two 2015 Macbook Pros, and both developed “battery bulge”, one so bad that it looked sort of pregnant and wouldn’t sit flat! Looked dangerous as well. Apple replaced both without charge (I did have AppleCare though). After replacement all is good!

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Definitely check the serial numbers with Apple’s recall site. I have a bunch in this range at work and we didn’t find a single one that needed to be recalled.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the consultants who subscribes to my TidBITS Content Network said that of the 2015 MacBook Pros that he manages for clients, 10% were in the recall range.

We have 8 in our office, so far 3 out of 4 checked are in the “need checking” camp.

They were purchased May/June 2016. The other was bought a year later.

I have been using this model since early 2018 and I am happy to find that mine is not in the recall.

We checked ours and one might be on the recall. We are trying to find out without having to ship the unit to Apple. Hopefully the local Apple store might be able to do the inspection.

I bought a refurbished 2015 MBP in January but when I checked the s/n I was told it MIGHT have already been replaced, OR it might not be one affected. When a unit is refurbished is the serial number changed? Mine has two Xes in the middle of the s/n.

Download the free MachineProfile app, distributed by Micromat, from the App Store. The System Info tab will show the month that the original system was manufactured while the Battery Info date will show the date the battery was manufactured. If the battery date is later than the the manufactured date, it has been replaced.

For example, I had the top case and logic board of my 2018 MacBook Pro (bought in the summer of 2018) replaced in February due to a partial backlight failure in the Touch Bar. Machine Profile shows that the system was manufactured during July 2018 while the battery was manufactured in late December 2018—so I know that battery replacement was part of the repair.

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A heads up.

The Apple web site showed I was eligible. Made an appointment; they did a diagnostic and determined that when they replaced my screen (staingate or whatever that smudged coating repair thing was called) they ALSO replaced my battery. Woot! So no need to send mine in and the battery is great.

The tech told me that one could call and they could maybe do something remotely to run the same tests. Not sure she’s right, but if you’re not close to an Apple Store then it might be worth checking out if your serial number is among the affected.

Just to be absolutely precise here…

This battery issue is precisely about just one machine: the 15" MacBook Pro (mid-2015) model. And only a percentage of those units; hence the online checker.

To quote the Apple support page:

Confirm your model is “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015).” If you have that model, enter your computer’s serial number below to see if it is eligible for this program.

If it isn’t that model, it isn’t part of this recall. :wink:

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I have one. I was hoping I would get a free battery replacement, not my lucky day.

Many times, the key is when the trackpad stops working. In such cases, a battery will swell against the trackpad and keep it from being able to be “clicked”. Which is a sure sign to check the battery. Of course, lots of folks just figure
they’ll use a mouse as they don’t want to pay for a trackpad. I get to explain when I hear what’s up that this is now a fire hazard, not a trackpad stopped clicking issue.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that Apple has received 26 reports of overheating batteries in this model, with an estimated 432,000 affected units.

Designer Steve Gagne has posted photos on Facebook of what happened after his MacBook Pro caught fire. It looks like the battery burnt a hole through the laptop! If you have one of these models, please don’t mess around, contact Apple support ASAP.

I just ran MachineProfile on my MacBook Pro (Retina,15-inch, Mid 2015) and it tells me the MBP was manufactured in October 2015 and the battery was manufactured on 2015-09-19. I ran the MBP serial number again and received the same result. So since the battery has NOT been replaced, then my MBP serial number is not in the affected serial number range. Whew!

According to Apple, the only way to have a battery replaced is by sending it to Apple. Currently this process is taking as long as 14 days. I don’t understand why Apple can’t speed this process up significantly so loyal Apple users who rely on a single MacBook Pro that is essential to their work on a daily basis don’t lose their ability to do their work for as long as two weeks.