2011 MacBook Pro graphics class-action suit expands, accuses Apple of concealing defects

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 47
    xixoxixo Posts: 421member
    My wife's 2011 MBP gave her nothing but trouble from the day we bought it. Freezing, fans constantly spinning, slow running, super hot, immediate random unexpected blackout-shutdowns.

    Genius Bar had us reinstalling again and again and could find no problem. More than 8 trips for service, all ending in "we cannot reproduce the issue."

    Finally when it was a month from warranty expiration we installed Mavericks and it would no longer boot.

    Motherboard replaced, worked 5 months then death again.

    Genius Bar said "out of warranty-$300 to replace" but only offering a 90 day service warranty.

    We said no thanks and cut our losses.

    The amount of lost time and aggravation was truly staggering.

    Contrast this with a defective iPhone 3G - after 4th trip to AT&T / Genius Bar,the serial number was on a list that entitled us to a brand new unit.

    I hope they lose a billion on this. It was beyond aggravating. Textbook definition of negligence.
  • Reply 22 of 47
    619w619w Posts: 1member

    My 2011 MacBook Pro has been overhauled almost completely 3 times by Apple over the last year for logic board and graphics failures.  Twice under extended AppleCare warranty and the last time after warranty had expired at no cost to me.  The manager at Apple Store told me they would replace machine if it happened again as they had exhausted all options for repairs.

  • Reply 23 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

     

    It's sitting on a towel to hold all the heat in trying to keep the solder joints from contracting. 

     

     


     

    You're deliberately frying your laptop and you expect it to work flawlessly?

  • Reply 24 of 47
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,022member
    To be fair you have to let these cases get objectively reviewed before declaring what may seem obvious. I recently had surgery and if I took the concensus of the online community to heart I should be miserable and suffering. But I'm better than ever. Just keep in mind that all of those people with good outcomes and no issues will never post anything in a public forum. Only Apple has all of the data in front of them so I doubt they'd keep taking the negative publicity if they felt that they were liable. There's no upside for Apple to conceal the truth. This is pocket change compared to the brand value that is at stake.
  • Reply 25 of 47
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,010member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CogitoDexter View Post

     

     

    You're deliberately frying your laptop and you expect it to work flawlessly?




    Actually, this is what non-Apple technicians have said to do. This model has the quad i7 and AMD 6570M. It also uses non-lead based solder. The problem seems to be the solder "balls" under the GPU chip expand and contract more using the lead-less solder than they did using the lead-based solder. This is causing the contacts to break. Keeping it running without any sleep time keeps the temperature fairly constant. One of the ways to potentially fix the solder connection is to overheat it long enough for the solder to make a better contact. I know all of this sounds crazy but there are many articles about re-balling the GPU chip to fix the problem at least for a certain amount of time. The MBP doesn't have a problem when using just the integrated graphics (HD3000) only when using the discrete graphics. This GPU can get real hot then gets shut off when it's not needed anymore. As for trying to fry it, I tried running it in my garage (PNW winter temp in garage less than 40 degrees) but this doesn't work either. The logic board can't be fixed without replacing the GPU, which needs to be soldered.

     

    I was hoping the mid 2012 15" i7 MBP logic board would fit but I am told by iFixit that it won't. The boards are very close with a few different components. Replacing it with another early 2011 logic board won't necessarily fix the problem although it should run for at least another year (maybe).

     

    My daughter's problem started right after her 3 year Applecare agreement ended. 

  • Reply 26 of 47
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,010member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DewMe View Post



    To be fair you have to let these cases get objectively reviewed before declaring what may seem obvious. I recently had surgery and if I took the concensus of the online community to heart I should be miserable and suffering. But I'm better than ever. Just keep in mind that all of those people with good outcomes and no issues will never post anything in a public forum. Only Apple has all of the data in front of them so I doubt they'd keep taking the negative publicity if they felt that they were liable. There's no upside for Apple to conceal the truth. This is pocket change compared to the brand value that is at stake.

    I hope you're right but I contacted a programmer who works at Apple and he's heard and read about the problem. He's going to try and email Tim Cook directly but isn't holding his breath that anything will fix our problem. It is a problem and not simply something people are complaining about. I get wake from sleep crash messages and have log files documenting problems. We're not making these things up. As for Apple being perfect, they are a company that's in the business of making money and having a recall would not help their bottom line. I'm been using, managing and pushing Apple devices since 1989 so I'm not a johnny-come-lately complainer. At work I signed requisitions for $3-4M worth of Apple computers over a period of 15 years. I know which Macs had problems and which didn't. This MBP is the first one that hasn't lasted more than 3 years.

     

    I hope you surgery went well and you recuperate fully. 

  • Reply 27 of 47
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    elijahg wrote: »
    It's the heat concentrated in small areas around the CPU and GPU that cause problems, especially with lead-free solder. The lead free stuff just doesn't flex like leaded does. So thanks to the EU's uninformed mandate, you end up with no lead, but many more electronics being thrown out due to solder fractures.

    It never seems to affect the CPU though. CPUs get really hot, even more than a GPU at times and yet they hardly ever suffer problems like this. Not to mention there are many dedicated GPUs that haven't failed even after many years of use, it's just certain models.

    There were 12 million Apple laptops sold in 2011. Most of the sales are for Airs and 13" MBPs but say 25% are the 15" MBPs, that's potentially 3 million defective units. A $500 outlay for each from Apple would be $1.5 billion. The lawyers would definitely get a significant payday if they covered every unit.

    We still don't know if it's affecting every model though nor that every customer had to outlay money on repairs or lost money. Apple might just provide data on the repairs they've done to give an idea of how widespread it is. I don't think it would have been nearly as bad if they'd just provided a way to disable the dedicated GPU. Even if it disabled video out, it meant the laptop would have still been useful.

    Either that or offer them a trade-in value towards a new model e.g $500 off a new MBP for anyone suffering from the problem.
  • Reply 28 of 47
    It is part of using an environmentally friendly solder for the graphics card instead of lead and is a problem that dates further back with other models as well. That is why many owner have tried to "bake"/reflow the solder.

    I own a late 2007 and a late 2011. The 07's logic board was replaced after 2.5 years. Those mbps with the non unibody frame always heated up and would heat up your legs if you worked from your lap.

    My 2011's graphics card "died" on the logic board 2 weeks before Applecare was up. Even though it was replaced the same problem is on the logic board. Some have had more luck "reballing" their logic board which is about $100-150.

    Supposedly, the newer retinal mbps do not have the same issues. I have heard good reviews of using the flat rate fix at Apple stores.

    It would be nice though to get a 2012 refurb or a discount on a new machine as time tics away on this logic board.
  • Reply 29 of 47
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,114member

    Early 2011 2.0GHz i7 MBP here.  I have two (wife).  Both bought as refurbs in late 2011.  

     

    Only occasionally do I get a yellow-tint at a certain tilt of the display.  No major problems... yet.  

    Upgraded to a fusion SSD and maxed out the ram, but it's mostly a websurfer and emailing machine.  Little hard work (rendering or video).  

     

    I want it to last another two years as I really don't use it to its maximum.  

     

    I understand completely how the lead-free solder could be causing problems.  Lead-free solder is less ductile/more brittle than typical lead-tin solder.  It's entirely possible that the first round of machines made with this process by Apple/Foxcon could have higher than normal failure rates.  The US automotive industry basically switched in 2009/2010.  

  • Reply 30 of 47
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    Hopefully this suit is worded with less bat-shit-crazy language. The last one focused more on evil corporate intent (nearly impossible to prove without some kind of inside evidence.) Instead of the core problem: broken laptops.
  • Reply 31 of 47
    I have an early 2011 17" MBP with a black screen due to this issue. Since the 17" MBP is no longer available, I would love to get a few more years life out of this machine. I live in Texas, so I'm hoping my state will soon be added to this class-action suit.

    This problem really needs to be addressed by Apple. The cost of repairing these machines and helping out it's loyal customers would be insignificant compared to the mountain of cash Apple is sitting on - and the good will it would create would be worth every cent.
  • Reply 32 of 47

    I have an early-2011 17" MBP with 2.3GHZ i7 and the AMD 6750M graphics. As a photographer I do a lot of graphics work. This thing started freezing on me within the first month or so after I bought it. Luckily I've always been able to get it back after a hard restart, but I have seen the garbled graphic artifacts as well on a few occasions. Of course my APP expired last spring, so I'm very hopeful that I can keep this thing going until Apple steps up (hopefully). I rely on Macs Fan Control to try and keep the temps down. This has been the most frustrating machine I've ever owned. I have a 12" PB G4 that, while the case is beat to heck, is still a dependable and usable machine despite being 11 years old.

  • Reply 33 of 47
    I have this problem with my 2011 15: MacBook Pro. Here's a screenshot of what happens when the screen goes weird:

    http://grab.by/DQmm

    This is the first I've heard of the class-action. How do I get in on this? I'd love to have my graphic card replaced or get a giant credit towards a new Mac.
  • Reply 34 of 47
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jcraig View Post

     

    I have an early-2011 17" MBP with 2.3GHZ i7 and the AMD 6750M graphics. As a photographer I do a lot of graphics work. This thing started freezing on me within the first month or so after I bought it. Luckily I've always been able to get it back after a hard restart, but I have seen the garbled graphic artifacts as well on a few occasions. Of course my APP expired last spring, so I'm very hopeful that I can keep this thing going until Apple steps up (hopefully). I rely on Macs Fan Control to try and keep the temps down. This has been the most frustrating machine I've ever owned. I have a 12" PB G4 that, while the case is beat to heck, is still a dependable and usable machine despite being 11 years old.


     

    Out of curiosity, when you say it freezes what state is it in? I believe the software update mentioned in the article (which reduced the speed of the GPU to limit the heat produced and was actually a firmware update) also has nasty bug in it which Apple never fixed. Periodically when my computer is switching between graphics chips (integrated vs discrete) it blue screens. Just a pure blue screen, no cursor, no text. By all appearances the computer is completely locked up and a hard restart is the only option. This happens when quitting an application such as Aperture which is using the discrete GPU and graphics is switching back to the integrated GPU.

     

    However, after much trial and error I discovered that it's not really locked up. It's purely a display issue as if the graphics function has crashed. I found that if I close the lid and let the computer fully go to sleep and then open the lid again to wake up the system the graphics have also been reset and I can resume my work. All my open apps, unsaved docs, etc are all just as I left them.

     

    I have been lucky enough to not have suffered the other screen artifacts people are experiencing, but I remember well the firmware update which started causing the very annoying blue screen issue. And if that also crippled the speed of my GPU then I wonder if restoring the original speed of the GPU for users is also in the scope of the lawsuit.

  • Reply 35 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

     

     

    Out of curiosity, when you say it freezes what state is it in? I believe the software update mentioned in the article (which reduced the speed of the GPU to limit the heat produced and was actually a firmware update) also has nasty bug in it which Apple never fixed. Periodically when my computer is switching between graphics chips (integrated vs discrete) it blue screens. Just a pure blue screen, no cursor, no text. By all appearances the computer is completely locked up and a hard restart is the only option. This happens when quitting an application such as Aperture which is using the discrete GPU and graphics is switching back to the integrated GPU.

     

    However, after much trial and error I discovered that it's not really locked up. It's purely a display issue as if the graphics function has crashed. I found that if I close the lid and let the computer fully go to sleep and then open the lid again to wake up the system the graphics have also been reset and I can resume my work. All my open apps, unsaved docs, etc are all just as I left them.

     

    I have been lucky enough to not have suffered the other screen artifacts people are experiencing, but I remember well the firmware update which started causing the very annoying blue screen issue. And if that also crippled the speed of my GPU then I wonder if restoring the original speed of the GPU for users is also in the scope of the lawsuit.




    Mine just freezes in its current state. No blue screen, no spinning beach ball of death, just a sudden and complete system lock-up. I've never tried closing the lid and reopening though. I'll be sure to give that a try on my next freeze-up.

  • Reply 36 of 47
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

     

    What I don't understand is why Apple is dragging their heels here. The cost for them to make this right would be a pittance for them. Far, far less than they squandered on the Beats acquisition. pfisher is right above that there is friction in place to resist paying out in these lawsuits. But if nobody in Cupertino has yet woken up that this one has merit and "it's the right thing to do"(tm), then Tim Cook needs to recognize that gap in their corporation and fix it. "Don't let things get this far out of hand in the future. Make it right." he should say. To do anything else is to tarnish Apple's reputation and I think I speak for other AAPL stockholders when I say I don't want that.


    Any company that fights what is obviously a problem will have a situation that backfires.

     

    Simply because of this issue that they are not acknowledging, I'm reluctant to buy another Mac and just hold onto the 2009 model, that, while slow, does work and is reliable. 

     

    In today's day and age, everyone has access to information. Stories of issues will hit the news pretty quickly and people will hear about it. Why buy a Mac when there is a problem with some or one of their machines and the company is not acknowledging it? Why pay "extra" on a Mac when they have problems like other PCs? People will think about this.

     

    On the other side of the coin, didn't Apple buy a company that does Twitter analytics? Well, anyway, all they have to do is use big data to compile comments out there and run analytics and nip these problems in the bud and decide there is a threshold by which to decide machines will get fixed for free.

  • Reply 37 of 47

    Hmm... I'm surprised that this is still an on-going issue.

    But I'd like to say that it happens on other machines also. I have a Mac mini which has this problem, and if you search on Intel's community web site, you would be able to see lots of such issues reported by Windows PC users.

    https://communities.intel.com/message/190985



    Good thing about Windows is that they can have an extra graphics card installed. But as a Mac user, we don't have such luxury, except for Mac Pro. (Isn't it funny? Apple II family was one of the most expandable machine. That idea was supported by Steve Wozniak but crippled by Steve Jobs. I like S. Jobs' inspiring speech and the way he lead conference keynotes, but I like Steve Wozniak's idea more. )



    On my Mac mini, it usually happens when I play some video files or streaming video. So, it's related to its integrated graphics module (GMA stuff) Tendency is that it looks to happen more often if it's heated up.



    However, i noticed that when I run Windows 10 on Virtual Box it also happens although Mac mini is still cooled down.

    So, probably some instruction is faulty or memory area is faulty.. Intel GMA uses some main memory portion as graphics memory area ( so, it's integrated graphics )



    It's funny that Apple charges very high price tag for replacing the mother board. ( There is no "CPU" socket in Mac mini, right?)

    So, it's better to buy a new one. ( but my next one could be inexpensive Windows mini-tower, which can be good enough for a personal file server and good to watch online video. Seriously, nowadays even very cheap PCs are not slow to watch video. )

     

  • Reply 38 of 47
    maxitmaxit Posts: 212member
    I beg your pardon. Are we speaking about the early or the late 2011 model?
    I'm am happy owner of a 15" late 2011 MBP , bought in October 11, just a few days after its release. I'm using it on a daily basis without a single issue (I swapped the original HDD with an SSD just for performance), and I really think it's the best MacBook I've ever owned (it's my fourth).
    I'm worried about this thread, because I don't have plans to change it any soon.
  • Reply 39 of 47
    maxitmaxit Posts: 212member
    wiggin wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, when you say it freezes what state is it in? I believe the software update mentioned in the article (which reduced the speed of the GPU to limit the heat produced and was actually a firmware update) also has nasty bug in it which Apple never fixed. Periodically when my computer is switching between graphics chips (integrated vs discrete) it blue screens. Just a pure blue screen, no cursor, no text. By all appearances the computer is completely locked up and a hard restart is the only option. This happens when quitting an application such as Aperture which is using the discrete GPU and graphics is switching back to the integrated GPU.

    However, after much trial and error I discovered that it's not really locked up. It's purely a display issue as if the graphics function has crashed. I found that if I close the lid and let the computer fully go to sleep and then open the lid again to wake up the system the graphics have also been reset and I can resume my work. All my open apps, unsaved docs, etc are all just as I left them.

    I have been lucky enough to not have suffered the other screen artifacts people are experiencing, but I remember well the firmware update which started causing the very annoying blue screen issue. And if that also crippled the speed of my GPU then I wonder if restoring the original speed of the GPU for users is also in the scope of the lawsuit.
    My MBP keep switching between discrete and integrated gpu, because I use a lot of PowerPoint and VLC that use discrete gpu, and the transition is seamless.
    I never had a single lockup.
    I'm very puzzled about this thread, because so far I was thinking mine is the best MacBook ever owned.
    The only tweak I use is SMC fan control to keep temperatures under control rising fan rotation speed, but my MBP never get too hot to be honest (the previous 2009 model was hotter).
  • Reply 40 of 47
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    maxit wrote: »
    I beg your pardon. Are we speaking about the early or the late 2011 model?
    I'm am happy owner of a 15" late 2011 MBP , bought in October 11, just a few days after its release. I'm using it on a daily basis without a single issue (I swapped the original HDD with an SSD just for performance), and I really think it's the best MacBook I've ever owned (it's my fourth).
    I'm worried about this thread, because I don't have plans to change it any soon.

    It's both early and late 15" models as it's a problem affecting the GPU model, which is common to both of them. Only the 13" wouldn't be affected.

    Your one won't necessarily fail but here someone's MBP suddenly failed after 3.5 years:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1800490

    Your late 2011 model could randomly fail this year sometime. They are worth about $1000 in working condition so you could sell it on eBay and get a late 2013 Retina model (these are practically the same as the latest 2014 models):

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FE293LL/A/refurbished-154-inch-macbook-pro-20ghz-quad-core-intel-i7-with-retina-display

    It has a 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM. If that's enough, it's a small upgrade cost and you'd be able to extend the warranty for 3 years. That has integrated graphics so no dedicated GPU to fail.

    If you want to hang onto the 2011 model and it does fail in a few months, you can sell it for spares or try to get Apple to cover the fix. Apple can't really fix these though because the parts aren't manufactured any more so if there's a settlement then you'd just get a payout after a very long time and might not get anything. I'd say your best option is to look at upgrading while it's still in working order. It is sort of just passing the problem onto someone else if it's certainly a defective product but there's not enough certainty of that yet because we don't know the numbers of failures. It could be a defect limited to a certain production run.
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