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Apple notifies faulty MagSafe owners of class-action settlement

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apple has reached a settlement on a class-action lawsuit over T-shaped MagSafe connectors for MacBook and MacBook Pro models that can fray and come apart.

The company on Tuesday posted a new support document detailing the Apple Adapter Replacement Program, revealing that some customers have received notices referring to the program. As part of the resolution, Apple has referred customers to the website adaptersettlement.com, which gives details on a cash payment available to those who own a 60-watt or 85-watt MagSafe MPM-1 T-shaped Power Adapter.

The power adapter shipped with both MacBook and MacBook Pro models, and could also have been purchased separately. Over time, some of those adapters can show signs of "Strain Relief Damage," in which the internal wires can fray and become exposed.

Apple was hit with a class-action lawsuit related to its T-shaped MagSafe power adapters in 2009, asserting that the faulty connectors could trigger sparks and become a potential fire hazard. Another suit was filed a year ago claiming that Apple's "dangerous" MagSafe included with a 2007 MacBook Pro caused a major fire at a Connecticut home.

The new settlement applies to customers who may have purchased a replacement adapter within the first three years of owning their MacBook or MacBook Pro with the T-shaped MagSafe adapter.

A court must still approve the proposed settlement, but the website reveals that customers who bought a replacement adapter in the first year of owning the faulty MagSafe adapter could be entitled to a maximum of $79, while second-year purchases could receive $50, and third-year replacements could garner $35.

A MagSafe adapter cable whose sheath has melted, exposing the wire. | Image credits: Flickr user AriXr.

Those who bought their own replacement adapter and seek a settlement are limited to three refunds per computer. Apple defines "strain relief" as "a condition where the DC cable (the thin cord that attaches the MagSafe connector to the power adapter) separates from the end of the MagSafe connector or from the other end o the thin cord, at the power adapter."

Customers looking for more information about the settlement can also call 1-888-332-0277. Those who seek the cash payment will be provided with a detailed notice and claim form package.

For customers who may still have a T-shaped adapter that shows signs of damage, Apple also offers replacement adapters at no cost. Potential adapter replacements can be obtained through an Apple Authorized Service Provider, Apple Technical Support, or at an Apple Retail Store.
post #2 of 25
You get:
" First year: Amount paid for the Replacement Adapter (excluding sales tax and shipping/handling fees) not to exceed $79
Second year: $50
Third year: $35"

The lawyers get:
"Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys fees and expenses of up to $3.1 million".
post #3 of 25
I bought the first Intel MBP in 2006 (actually received it a few days before the stores). After a couple of years the connection frayed beyond what a bit of electrical tape would repair. The local Apple Store replaced it for free, even though it was more than 2 years out.
post #4 of 25
How about the iPod/iPhone USB cord? Those things have a 1 year lifespan for those of us that constantly plug and unplug the things!
post #5 of 25
who or what the hell was chewing on the adapter in the photo?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

I bought the first Intel MBP in 2006 (actually received it a few days before the stores). After a couple of years the connection frayed beyond what a bit of electrical tape would repair. The local Apple Store replaced it for free, even though it was more than 2 years out.

That happened to me as well. It did genuinely fail by itself as well - I'm not especially hard on my electronics.

The guy at the Apple store was great though. I'd actually gone in to buy a new one (since it was out of warranty, I just rote it off to bad luck), and they handed a replacement over free of charge. I was very happy.

It never occurred to me to call the lawyers, but there again, I'm not an arsehole.
post #7 of 25
The adapter for my MacBook Air 11", although it is a slightly different design, is showing exactly the same sort of wear as the picture.
post #8 of 25
Paul and kevt- really? You're SURE you didn't yank on it or twist up your cable some way? I work for an apple shop, for about 5 years now, and I've NEVER seen this happen. And we abuse our stuff pretty bad.

I have a hard time believing that this kind of thing happens on it's own without the user doing something to cause it.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Um, yea. Sorry, but there is NO WAY stress relief is the adapter is at fault- it happened because you twisted up your cable or yanked it in a way you shouldn't have.

It pisses me off that lawsuits like this go through... stop using your tech in a way you shouldn't, any maybe your stuff won't go bad. I know, I know, a novel concept, right?

Um, yeah. Sorry, but there is NO WAY my adaptor was ever yanked or twisted up, and yet this happened.

I don't like the lawsuits, but I also don't like people who just assume innocent consumers were to blame.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Paul and kevt- really? You're SURE you didn't yank on it or twist up your cable some way? I work for an apple shop, for about 5 years now, and I've NEVER seen this happen. And we abuse our stuff pretty bad.

I have a hard time believing that this kind of thing happens on it's own without the user doing something to cause it.

Yes, I'm sure I never yanked it or twisted it. I've been an electronics engineer for 15 years now, and know how to look after electronic equipment. This part failed either due to a design or manufacturing defect.
post #11 of 25
I did a stint as a senior phone support agent for AppleCare for several years. This is one issue that came up all the time. Basically if it was in warranty or under APP it was covered. If not tough luck, though more often than not we could cover it for customer sat purposes - I usually did since it was kind of a crappy issue to be stuck with.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Paul and kevt- really? You're SURE you didn't yank on it or twist up your cable some way? I work for an apple shop, for about 5 years now, and I've NEVER seen this happen. And we abuse our stuff pretty bad.

I have a hard time believing that this kind of thing happens on it's own without the user doing something to cause it.

I've seen this quite a few times dealing with a few hundred MacBooks.

The end of the cable at the junction of the T connector melts through the outer casing on its own. When I first saw it I couldn't believe it and thought the user placed the cord near a space heater. However, it popped up a few more times and Apple acknowledged and replaced ours. It's due to cheap materials and/or design flaw. A well-designed cable should not melt through the casing under normal use conditions.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post

Paul and kevt- really? You're SURE you didn't yank on it or twist up your cable some way? I work for an apple shop, for about 5 years now, and I've NEVER seen this happen. And we abuse our stuff pretty bad.

For these guys to break some twisting/pulling is necessary (unless some kind of melting or heat damage took place—I never encountered that), but it's pretty easy for that to happen when you're working with a laptop. I had the MacSafe adapter go out on my laptop as well after some years, and I'm perfectly happy to admit that it is because I moved around a lot and the cord was tugged in varied directions. Apple replaced it cheerfully. Funny thing, is, that the MacSafe adapter, despite this quality issue, is still far more durable than any of the plug-in hard drive pins used in cheaper laptops. Those things die way too easily.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #14 of 25
Was a class action really necessary with the ease at which Apple replaces faulty power supplies, power cords, and batteries?
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Was a class action really necessary with the ease at which Apple replaces faulty power supplies, power cords, and batteries?

I am guessing since a home was burned due to this issue, that it became necessary in the eyes of those who were affected. Also, the lawyers have gotta eat man!
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #16 of 25
I wish they'd offer to replace the adapters when the LED stops functioning normally. I've only got one out of five that lights up and doesn't flicker/blink... on four different notebooks, from a first generation MBP to the latest unibody 13"... the only one that works is the new "L" shaped one for my 13" MBP. And yes, I've reset the SMC, PRAM, etc.
post #17 of 25
I think my pet weasel did mine in :-)
post #18 of 25
I think when Apple owns up to manufacturing/design faults, they should do the right thing and take care of all their customers who bought affected products, not just those who live in the US.
post #19 of 25
The reason this is such a big deal (I've replaced 2 adaptors over the years) is that the cable is hard wired to the power supply, so a simple frayed cable results in replacing a $65 or more power supply. If Apple would just put a MagSafe at BOTH ends of the cable, then you could quickly and inexpensively just replace the cable. Plus it would be even safer, and you could get longer cables if you wanted. I think it is a lousy design; the new side-connectors are only a bit better. A rare Apple design fail.
post #20 of 25
Nice. I probably went through three power cables for my 2009 MacBook Pro. Easily the worst cable power I have ever owned for a laptop and at the time Apple was trying to play a blame game like it was my fault.

After work, I need to go to the Apple Store to see if they will replace my iPhone 4S which is having sound issues (people on the other end keep complaining my phone is cutting our frequently or I sound far away). me).
post #21 of 25
[Deleted -- accidentally posted twice... how do you delete?]
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by springerj View Post

The reason this is such a big deal (I've replaced 2 adaptors over the years) is that the cable is hard wired to the power supply, so a simple frayed cable results in replacing a $65 or more power supply. If Apple would just put a MagSafe at BOTH ends of the cable, then you could quickly and inexpensively just replace the cable. Plus it would be even safer, and you could get longer cables if you wanted. I think it is a lousy design; the new side-connectors are only a bit better. A rare Apple design fail.

I like that idea.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #23 of 25
poor strain reliefs on cables seem to be one of apple's consistent design failings

it's as if apple is devoted to some internal doctrine for stiff, short, reliefs, with the outer sleeve of the cable often ending only a few mm into the relief and not bonded to it

it was like that on the tibook supply, on the al g4 replacement, and then the subsequent magsafe supplies, even the latest magsafe supply still is poorly designed at the 'brick end'

that's over a decade of poor design, bizarre for a company that otherwise does such a good job, even dell does it better

short, stiff, reliefs can result in sharp bends to the cable, and the unbonded and limited sleeve insertion can result in it backing out over time, it also allows twisting of the internal wires

flexy, long reliefs are just better, sleeve insertion should be the full length of the relief, and the sleeve should be bonded to the relief (or within the supply), basic stuff

apple could learn from textronix, for instance the strain reliefs on their probes are superb
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

For these guys to break some twisting/pulling is necessary (unless some kind of melting or heat damage took placeI never encountered that), but it's pretty easy for that to happen when you're working with a laptop. I had the MacSafe adapter go out on my laptop as well after some years, and I'm perfectly happy to admit that it is because I moved around a lot and the cord was tugged in varied directions. Apple replaced it cheerfully. Funny thing, is, that the MacSafe adapter, despite this quality issue, is still far more durable than any of the plug-in hard drive pins used in cheaper laptops. Those things die way too easily.

The connector too small and smooth to offer enough purchase for fingertips to reliably break the magnetic attachment. Thus the cable can be inadvertently strained even by someone who is being reasonably careful.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

I bought the first Intel MBP in 2006 (actually received it a few days before the stores). After a couple of years the connection frayed beyond what a bit of electrical tape would repair. The local Apple Store replaced it for free, even though it was more than 2 years out.

This is almost exactly the same thing that happened to me. In and out of the Apple Store in less than 15 minutes.
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