Best Buy Recalls Third-Party MacBook Batteries Over Fire Risk

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BestbuyBest Buy has recalled 5,100 third-party replacement MacBook batteries after at least 13 reports of the batteries catching fire.

Both the black and white varieties sold between September 2008 and June 2012 -- unit numbers MC-MBOOK13B and MC-MBOOK13W -- have been recalled and Best Buy will give customers replacements or a Best Buy gift card. Best Buy did note that they were not the only company to sell the batteries.

Gizmodo received this statement from Best Buy:

After receiving reports from customers of these lithium ion batteries overheating when charging, we believe the right thing to do is to contact our customers and ask them to return the product for replacement or for a Best Buy gift card. While we are only one of many companies that may have sold these batteries, we feel they are a potential fire and burn hazard and want to keep our customers safe.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission page about the recall says the batteries are for the MacBook Pro, but they are in fact replacements for the black and white plastic MacBooks.

Top Rated Comments

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96 months ago
Word of advice form a former Best Buy employee, don't buy anything from Best Buy, ever.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

If you're shelling out even $89 for a battery let alone $129 for a computer that is 7 years old then I think there are greater things that need looking at.


It's like an old reliable car. Pay $2000 to fix the engine, and keep the reliable car you know the 'bugs', buy a used car for more than $2000 that you know nothing about or buy a new car for $15,000.

Same with my reliable white macbook. Bought it in 2006. I got a new battery for it earlier this year. This macbook will serve me well for another few years, and save me a lot of money for 'better' things like vacations.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

Totally worth the $1.82 you saved going with the non-apple batteries.


For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago
Totally worth the $1.82 you saved going with the non-apple batteries.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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96 months ago

Snip

Thanks for coming in and saying everything I was going to say!

If you bring a bulging battery into the Apple Store, managers will quietly freak out and replace it in my experience.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
96 months ago

MMMMM, reliable Apple Batteries, are you guys kidding?

My BlackBook has an original Apple battery which has blown up (expanded) to the point where it interferes with the track pad operation.

The top case of the laptop has broken down to the point where the edge has chipped off about 40% of the way around.

I recall Apple batteries being responsible for a number of MacBooks catching alight in the past.

Apple have side-stepped their own safety recalls in my case, implying that batteries expanding to the point where the machine cannot function and the case disintegrating to the point where i have to keep the housing intact with 100 MPH tape and glue are not safety issues and should not be repaired free of charge. These issues were fixed free of charge for many owners in the USA but in Australia they tend to look at you as if you are an idiot when you mention product safety recalls.

I admit I have had very few problems with most of my Apple gear, (12" & 14" iBooks, 15" & 20" G4 iMacs, 17" PowerBooks, MacBook Pros 08, 09, 11, G5 2x2 Tower, iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, 4S) but the early MacBooks were *LEMONS*


I used to work for Apple, you clearly don't understand the policies and procedures. First of all, the top case chipping had/has a quality program for it in place. Any non-unibody Macbook that has chipping on the top case and/or bezel can get a free replacement as long as it is under 5 years old. So if you didn't get your top case replaced in that time, boohoo. Second, regarding batteries, it is true that some batteries expand when they reach EOL and that is totally normal. I have seen this happen on EVERY model Macbook and Macbook Pro, even Macbook Airs. If the machine is under warranty, then the battery as well as anything that was affected by it (trackpad and/or top case typically) then that would also be replaced. However if the machine is out of warranty and the battery that has expanded is not under a separate warranty (purchased off the shelf within a year) then it is repaired at cost and is NOT covered. All I can say is that if you notice your trackpad feels stiff and your Macbook isn't sitting flat anymore, then you ought to pull your battery out and take a look at it to see if it is bulging. If it is, replace it immediately.

Now here's the deal. Geniuses won't swap batteries for free that are out of warranty (or anything really) because they are not allowed to. They would have to get approval from a manager in the form of a CS code to cover the repair. However there is one way around it. Non-unibody MacBooks, non-unibody Macbook pros, and the first generation of unibody MacBook Pros (as well as the 2008 aluminum Macbook) all had removable batteries, meaning they are a boxed part that can be bought off of the shelf. Geniuses still have the power to do a POS swap, or a return. This requires no approval from a manager. I used to do it all the time when we were behind at the bar because it is quick and easy. If you push them hard enough, they know they have this option and will swap it just to get you out of their hair. Also if you claim to have bought it off the shelf within the past year but you don't have proof, sometimes they will just swap it. I used to do it to make people happy after they took away all of our power to swap anything at all that was out of warranty. Keep in mind if you have like 900 cycles on your battery, you definitely didn't buy it off of the shelf within the past year :-)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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