Apple announces repair program for MacBook Pro laptops exhibiting video issues

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited August 2015
Apple on Thursday announced a new repair program for certain previous-generation MacBook Pro laptops suffering from distorted video, unexpected restarts and other issues, saying these faulty units will be repaired for free.

Image showing early-2011 MacBook Pro graphics issue. | Source: Apple Support Communities forum member "Andy_Gee"


The repair initiative, officially titled "MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues," applies to MacBook Pro computers sold between February 2011 and December 2013 that exhibit distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts, Apple said.

AppleInsider first reported on the long-running graphics issue in October 2013, when a number of early-2011 MacBook Pro owners documented visual anomalies and system crashes similar to those described by Apple today. At the time, some users attributed the malfunctions to the MacBook Pro's discrete AMD GPU.

Sources familiar with Apple's internal repair network told AppleInsider in August that the company had no immediate plans to initiate a replacement program for MacBook Pros suffering from systematic crashes and graphics failures. It appears, however, that the company has since changed course.

Last October, Apple was slapped with a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of owners of the 2011 series MacBook Pro lineup. The complaint cited numerous counts of video and system issues possibly linked to failed graphics cards.

Affected models:
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15 inch, Early 2013)
MacBook Pro owners can use Apple's "Check Your Coverage" tool to find out if their model is eligible for repair and either carry in or mail the device to Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Apple notes repairs starts today in the U.S. and Canada, while international support will become available on Feb. 27.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,475member

    Anything for MBPr owners experiencing image ghosting?

  • Reply 2 of 75
    irelandireland Posts: 17,653member

    Why did they take so long to address this?

  • Reply 3 of 75
    I've got a mid-2012 MBPr 15 that isn't exhibiting any of these problems. However, I think I'm going to apply a little preventive grease and get it "fixed" nonetheless. Though, I must say that I'm a bit leery of having the work done in-store.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    So, apparently Apple has a bad issue with graphics cards. My late 2012 27in iMac has the same issue.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    I have an early 2013 retina, don't get issues much but do have "graphical issue" once every couple of months, and do get misplacement of volume and brightness switches(actually got it 5 minutes ago turning computer on the computer), so probably will get it repaired.

    Edit:Do have a tiny crack in screen(like 1/2 cm), so do notice that might get a charge to replace as well.
  • Reply 6 of 75
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    Thanks for nothing, apple.

    My wife had the 2011 MBP with defective motherboard / videocard. Freezing, crashing, fans running like turbojets, sluggish performance.

    After nine visits to "Geniuses" where were told again and again "we can't reproduce the problem" it died completely when we tried to install Mavericks.

    The out-of-warranty replaced motherboard failed 60 days after the 90 day service warranty expired, at which time we were offered the opportunity to pay $350 to replace the motherboard a second time.

    I said no thanks and sold the laptop on eBay for parts.

    I hope the lawyers sue them and win. The amount of headaches and distress this caused was over the top. I thought I had bought a Dell or something...
  • Reply 7 of 75
    Late '11 here...

    Spent around $600 on repairs for board swap outs (twice so far!) so I can tell you that I'm looking forward to getting some cash back!
  • Reply 8 of 75
    I had screens looking similar to this on my 2011 MBP, usually only when waking from sleep to the login screen. (Logins did work fine.)

    However, since replacing a year-and-a-half old SATA drive (itself a replacement) with a solid state drive (SSD) I've had no recurrence of the problem. (The replacement was occasioned by too many beachballs, not screen issues.) My early-2011 MBP now performs as if brand new, with boot times cut by two-thirds, backups in half, etc., etc.

    I was prepared to buy a new Mac, but now it feels as if I have one. SSD cost from Other World Computing was about $150. OWC has excellent video instruction, so I was able to do the work myself. With very responsive tech support from ShirtPocket (SuperDuper) I was up and running with files transferred in a relatively short time.

    Screen problems may come back, but so far I am a very happy camper.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    Too little too late. They need to refund all the people that paid for repairs while they were denying the issue.
  • Reply 10 of 75
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,270member
    So when are they going to go back to leaded solder? How many generations of MacBook have this problem now, total?? Mine was a 3,1. There have been endless models since then with these problems.

    It's kind of obvious now that the MacBooks have too many temperature extremes for the unleaded solder. The end result is more waste. Solder can still use lead when the application requires it, and this is clearly a case of requiring it.
  • Reply 11 of 75



    Sadly I fear the answer is never.  I was in manufacturing when lead free solder started becoming "the rage".  What a disaster that was.  I'm glad I no longer have to worry about bad solder joints...

  • Reply 12 of 75
    I literally had one repaired 2 weeks ago. I asked over and over about the issue and they told me, if we announce a repair plan, we will refund you your money. Here's hoping they stick to it.
  • Reply 13 of 75
    Wow, great timing. My early 2011 suffered this fate on Saturday, and I took it to the Apple Store this morning, before this information was published. They quoted me $600 , which I assume will be covered by the time I pick it up in 2 weeks. I did check the coverage website linked here, my serial number only validates as a purchase date, with the rest of my coverage expired. I hope it still means my MBP is covered.
  • Reply 14 of 75
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     

    Why did they take so long to address this?




    I think the class action lawsuit had something to do with it. This a tantamount to an admission of guilt and the lawyers will profit handsomely. Nipping it in the bud could have saved them $millions. Sometimes I wonder.

     

    The Yosemite WiFi issues aren’t going away either according to some. Some lawyer must be looking into this too.

  • Reply 15 of 75
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post



    So when are they going to go back to leaded solder? How many generations of MacBook have this problem now, total?? Mine was a 3,1. There have been endless models since then with these problems.



    It's kind of obvious now that the MacBooks have too many temperature extremes for the unleaded solder. The end result is more waste. Solder can still use lead when the application requires it, and this is clearly a case of requiring it.



    And Greenpeace will be all over them like stink on shit.

  • Reply 16 of 75
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xixo View Post



    Thanks for nothing, apple.



    My wife had the 2011 MBP with defective motherboard / videocard. Freezing, crashing, fans running like turbojets, sluggish performance.



    After nine visits to "Geniuses" where were told again and again "we can't reproduce the problem" it died completely when we tried to install Mavericks.



    The out-of-warranty replaced motherboard failed 60 days after the 90 day service warranty expired, at which time we were offered the opportunity to pay $350 to replace the motherboard a second time.



    I said no thanks and sold the laptop on eBay for parts.



    I hope the lawyers sue them and win. The amount of headaches and distress this caused was over the top. I thought I had bought a Dell or something...



    So do you still have a Mac or any other Apple products? If so, why? Why would you continue to do business with the company if you feel that way? I really don’t understand you people sometimes. Do you like being Apple’s victim?

  • Reply 17 of 75
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,684member

    Apple was clearly in the wrong since the beginning.  This entire fiasco was a blemish to what would have been a perfect record.  I suspect they just wanted to put an end to the endless headaches, lawsuits, and criticisms of the way the handled it.



    They could go a step further (if they aren't already going to) and refund any money that users paid either to Apple or to a 3rd-party to repair the affected MacBooks.  Apple knowingly continued to sell a defective product, and pushed affected customers out of the way.  That was not cool.



    At least they are doing the right thing by admitting the problem, and helping those that are still dealing with it.  I know just one person using a 2011-era laptop.  They are few and far between.

  • Reply 18 of 75
    moreckmoreck Posts: 187member
    It's about time!
  • Reply 19 of 75
    Holy crap, 3/4 of the people have barely any post counts, but are being so vocal about this, even though Apple is offering to reimburse you for paid repairs... Stop your freaking whining. They're repairing them now, like I've been saying they would be once the logistics and issues with the parts suppliers on the backend got worked out.
  • Reply 20 of 75
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    dysamoria wrote: »
    So when are they going to go back to leaded solder? How many generations of MacBook have this problem now, total?? Mine was a 3,1. There have been endless models since then with these problems.
    This is a good portion of the problem and unfortunately the move away from leaded solders was made mandatory by the EU. What was notable here is the demand for lead free systems when no alternative existed. What is even worst there was no proof that leaded solder was an environmental hazard.
    It's kind of obvious now that the MacBooks have too many temperature extremes for the unleaded solder. The end result is more waste. Solder can still use lead when the application requires it, and this is clearly a case of requiring it.

    Actually for consumer devices there isn't an option. There are exemptions for military, medical and other electronics but nothing targeting the consumer gets an exemption.

    What is even more interesting here is that Apple is just one of many industries suffering through this non sense.
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