Apple notifies faulty MagSafe owners of class-action settlement

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    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".
  • Reply 2 of 24
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 24
    who or what the hell was chewing on the adapter in the photo?
  • Reply 5 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    kevtkevt Posts: 195member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Was a class action really necessary with the ease at which Apple replaces faulty power supplies, power cords, and batteries?
  • Reply 14 of 24
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,502member
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    I think my pet weasel did mine in :-)
  • Reply 17 of 24
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    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).
  • Reply 20 of 24
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member
    [Deleted -- accidentally posted twice... how do you delete?]
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