product liability, defective products, battery

Apple recalls 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops for fire risk

If you own a 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop, Apple wants you to know the lithium-ion battery in the device could overheat, posing a fire risk.

Apple announced it is recalling some of the older-generation MacBook Pro model laptops that it manufactured between September 2015 and February 2017. The units at risk of fire can be identified by entering the computer’s serial number in a recall portal on Apple’s website. You can find your MacBook’s serial number by choosing “About This Mac” from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen.

Apple says anyone whose MacBook Pro is affected by the recall should stop using the device until it can be repaired. Apple will replace the battery free of charge.

All of the recalled MacBook Pros will be sent to an Apple Repair Center for service, which may take one to two weeks. Customers have three options of getting their laptop to Apple for repairs:

CNBC notes that the laptops affected by this recall are not the same models as the current MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Those computers have a “butterfly” keyboard that Apple users have widely criticized for being unreliable. Apple is allowing owners of those MacBook Pro computers to have their keyboard replaced free of charge if it malfunctions.

Consumers should always take recalls involving lithium-ion batteries seriously and have their devices repaired at the earliest possible opportunity. Lithium-ion cells condense an enormous amount of power, which can be released in the form of thermal runaway (explosion, fire, or both) if the battery is poorly designed, manufactured, or damaged. In particular, Beasley Allen is investigating cases of exploding e-cigarettes, which can cause serious injuries and have even been linked to deaths.

Although Apple products seldom make headlines for safety risks, problems do occasionally occur. A New Jersey woman is currently suing Apple in federal court, alleging her father, Bradley Ireland, died from severe burn injuries he received on Feb. 22, 2017, as a result of a fire caused by his iPad.

“The fire was caused by a defect in the subject tablet, specifically affecting the tablet’s battery pack,” the lawsuit alleges.

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