Insurance company claims Apple's 'dangerous' MagSafe started fire

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 81
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post


    Sorry, if the fire marshal determined the MagSafe adapter was the culprit which started a house fire, then it is NOT a frivolous lawsuit. Why should the insurance company absorb the cost which they believe is Apple's fault?



    The adapter was quietly redesigned without much comment from Apple. Why? Probably because Apple realized the previous adapter had some design flaws with many people needing to replace their cables. I am on my third cable now for my mid-2009 MacBook Pro which Apple has been replacing for free.



    Because that's what insurance companies do. They absorb the cost of accidents regardless of who is at fault.



    If consumers want to sue Apple because the device is defective, that's fine. But I don't see why an insurance company should be reimbursed unless Apple broke the law.



    Meanwhile, my family has about five of these adapters and has never had a problem.
  • Reply 42 of 81
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    1. The MagSafe concept is pretty good. There is no real problem with the magnetic latching.



    2. The cable that runs between the wall wart and the Mac is a piece of crap! I base that on about 30 years of maintenance experience with industrial controls. There are actually two issues with the cables. One is the lack of aggressive strain reliefs which Apple apparently tried to address with the updated connectors. The second issues is with the cable itself. The design of the cable is such that it is subject to knotting up or twisting if not handled carefully. There is actually a word for what happens to the cable which escapes me. In anyevent what happens is that when it gets twisted the right way the coaxial construction results in the outer layers coming into contact with the inner. This can cause shorts in cables and rapid heating.



    The problem I have is that the deterioration on such hardware should be fairly obvious to the user. Thus I believe they have some responsibility here. It is like the breaks wearing out on your car and you then smashing into somebody at an intersection. Ford can't babysit your car for you, you as the owner have to take responsibility for safe operation of the machine.



    3. Nothing last for ever but in this case it is pretty obvious that the power supplies don't last as long as reasonably expected. This falls squarely on Apples shoulders and would be reasonably described as not suitable for the purpose. Even Dell has better laptop power supplies.
  • Reply 43 of 81
    jetlawjetlaw Posts: 156member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    Because that's what insurance companies do. They absorb the cost of accidents regardless of who is at fault.



    If consumers want to sue Apple because the device is defective, that's fine. But I don't see why an insurance company should be reimbursed unless Apple broke the law.



    Meanwhile, my family has about five of these adapters and has never had a problem.





    It's called subrogation. A component of most insurance contracts is that the underwriter steps into the shoes of the insured once they pay the claim. Therefore, the insurance company plaintiff in this case has standing to bring any claim that the insured could have brought themselves.



    With regard to the claim itself, one who introduces a product into the stream of commerce in a condition unreasonably dangerous is liable for harms caused by the defect. There are undoubtedly questions of fact to be resolved in litigation, but it does not seem to me that this claim would be properly characterized as "frivolous" by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Reply 44 of 81
    I hope that the evidence was kept, otherwise they will have a tough time proving anything. Apple has the right to inspect the alleged faulty equipment and if it is not around, that will be tough for a court to allow the case to proceed.
  • Reply 45 of 81
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    "What's that? They have 50 billion dollars in cash, you say? Hmmmmmmmm...frivolous lawsuit time!"



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skiracer1987 View Post


    I say it is another Insurance Company trying to worm out of having to pay on their product.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Must be great to be an insurance company. By their reasoning, they should always be reimbursed for every incident that happens.



    Pretty obvious that not a single one of you knows how insurance works. Look up the word "subrogation" if you want to educate yourselves. The insurance company goes after Apple so the little guy doesn't have to. That's part of the protection that insurance provides to you. If someone is determined to be at fault due to a defective product, who's going to hold them accountable? Joe Homeowner?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    It's about precedent and facts. Apple isn't going to pay this down. They will fight it to keep from larger fish leveraging such a frivolous action for their much larger false claim.



    Actually, I think just the opposite. Apple will quietly pay the money rather than risk losing in court. Because THAT would set a precedent that would bring out all the frivolous lawsuits. This isn't a murder case that requires a unanimnous verdict to convict. A couple of sympathic jurors could side with the plantiff based on the fire marshall's report and all the complaints on the internet about the issue.
  • Reply 46 of 81
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Nonsense. The fire marshal may have determined that it was an ignition source. But what what was the fuel?



    What does it matter. Item xyz caused a fire, it doesn't matter if the fuel was paint on the wall or somebodies trashy novel. If your device elevated them to burning temperatures then who is at fault.

    Quote:

    This applies not only to Apple, but to any manufacturer of electronic components. So I am going to make this a generic counter-argument.



    What exactly were the circumstances leading to the fire? Assuming for the sake of argument that the AC adapter sparked, what did it spark on? Did the homeowner live is complete filth with fire hazards everywhere?



    Are you trying to imply that the only accePtable way to live is on concrete and rock? It anyevent if said device did cause a fire due to a design issue then what difference does it make where the device was.

    Quote:

    Was it on a table or structure that was highly combustible? Did the homeowner have the laptop plugged into the wall with a bunch of octopus wiring causing an overload of some sort?



    What you are missing here is that the insurance company has enough evidence that it thinks it can sue Apple. The investigative work is already done.

    Quote:

    I'd bet money that the homeowner is conveniently holding something back.



    That is always possible but I highly doubt it in this case. There was likely little involvement from the home owner. The investigation is done by the Firemarshal and whomever the insurance company hired.

    Quote:

    When I use my Milwaukee cordless 18v power drill, occasionally a spark will spit spit out of the motor vent due to the high torque. If I happen to be standing next to a gasoline drum, is it the fault of the drill company?



    You are also in direct control of that drill. It is not unreasonable to expect a laptop to be left on a charger for a length of time un-attended.

    Quote:

    There's a lot more to this story that's not being talked about.



    How do you know this? Besides what more detail do you need a laptop power supply/charger failed causing a fire. This failure is common to Apples MagSafe system, it really shouldn't be a surprise anymore.

    Quote:

    Unless the component (regardless of manufacturer) literally blew up and exploded like a brick of C-4 explosives, then I'm not convinced it was entirely the company's fault. Not just yet.



    You must be really dense if it takes a brick of C4 to convince yourself of anything.

    Quote:

    That's the problem with you couch conspiracy-theorists. You're quick to judge without waiting to see what the outcome is. Then, when the truth does come out, you quietly retreat to a corner and hope no-one calls you on it.



    The outcome of this action doesn't really matter. The failure of cords feeding MagSafe connectors is well documented.

    Quote:

    In the end, yet another label will be attached to a device to protect you from yourselves.



    Most likely Apple will just pay off the insurance company.

    Quote:

    How's this: "This product incorporates high-voltage circuitry of 120hz. Please keep away from all combustible materials.".



    Sounds familiar?



    I think you mixed up voltage and frequency so no it doesn't sound familiar. The other problem is that the cords supplying power to the laptops are low voltage.
  • Reply 47 of 81
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Nonsense. The fire marshal may have determined that it was an ignition source. But what what was the fuel?



    This applies not only to Apple, but to any manufacturer of electronic components. So I am going to make this a generic counter-argument.



    What exactly were the circumstances leading to the fire? Assuming for the sake of argument that the AC adapter sparked, what did it spark on? Did the homeowner live is complete filth with fire hazards everywhere? Was it on a table or structure that was highly combustible? Did the homeowner have the laptop plugged into the wall with a bunch of octopus wiring causing an overload of some sort?



    I'd bet money that the homeowner is conveniently holding something back.



    When I use my Milwaukee cordless 18v power drill, occasionally a spark will spit spit out of the motor vent due to the high torque. If I happen to be standing next to a gasoline drum, is it the fault of the drill company?



    There's a lot more to this story that's not being talked about.



    Unless the component (regardless of manufacturer) literally blew up and exploded like a brick of C-4 explosives, then I'm not convinced it was entirely the company's fault. Not just yet.



    That's the problem with you couch conspiracy-theorists. You're quick to judge without waiting to see what the outcome is. Then, when the truth does come out, you quietly retreat to a corner and hope no-one calls you on it.



    In the end, yet another label will be attached to a device to protect you from yourselves.



    How's this: "This product incorporates high-voltage circuitry of 120hz. Please keep away from all combustible materials.".



    Sounds familiar?



    I'm glad you'll never be my attorney!



    The drill example is pointless because just leads to expected use arguments. A laptop is meant to be used in an environment where there is paper, fabric, wood, etc, in the area (think of your desk) and it's not expected to spark. If I dropped the end of the adaptor into that barrel of gasoline, sure, then it's my fault. But not because the paper on my desk caught fire from a defect cord.



    If the plantiffs can convince a jury that there was no use of the power adaptor outside of expected use (ie, the dog didn't chew on it, etc) then they have a good chance of winning.
  • Reply 48 of 81
    I've got a 2007 Macbook that I bought in July of that year. There's no damage to my adapter, but I have been sitting using my computer and when I got up grabbed the box of the adapter and it was too hot to handle for more than 2 seconds. After reading this, I'll probably go home and check to make sure the cables are in good condition.
  • Reply 49 of 81
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    Because that's what insurance companies do. They absorb the cost of accidents regardless of who is at fault.



    No, they don't. Please either understand something before posting it as fact, or write it in a way that admits to your lack of understanding..."Isn't that how insurance works..." or "I think insurnance works this way..."



    You'd still be wrong, but at least you won't look as silly when someone corrects you.
  • Reply 50 of 81
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,366member
    I agree the first magsafe design is a wimpy, piece of sh*t. For something that is connected and disconnected on purpose by application design, it should be improved.



    Oh, look. It was.



    Defective? Maybe. Could be better? Definitely!
  • Reply 51 of 81
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    I'm glad you'll never be my attorney!



    The drill example is pointless because just leads to expected use arguments. A laptop is meant to be used in an environment where there is paper, fabric, wood, etc, in the area (think of your desk) and it's not expected to spark. If I dropped the end of the adaptor into that barrel of gasoline, sure, then it's my fault. But not because the paper on my desk caught fire from a defect cord.



    If the plantiffs can convince a jury that there was no use of the power adaptor outside of expected use (ie, the dog didn't chew on it, etc) then they have a good chance of winning.



    My point is to clarify that when an item (regardless of manufacturer) is used in an environment that could potentially make a small problem worse, it has to be taken into consideration.



    What I take issue with are posters that immediately put blame on Apple without waiting for the information of exactly what happened. I EXPECT an insurance company to investigate the cause. In all honestly, I wish all insurance companies investigated every claim before paying out just to settle to make sure there is no fraud involved. They are doing that, and if the case goes to trial (I doubt it), the truth will come out.



    Even you don't know what the conditions were to cause the fire. I don't know what they are either. What you seem to be presuming is that the adapter sparked, and suddenly the entire house went up in flames. Sorry, it's just not that black and white.



    What I want to know is what the condition of that adapter was in just prior to the fire and what clutter, hazards, etc. was in the immediate vicinity of that adapter. I've seen how my friends abuse their AC adapters like it was a rock. Dropping it, hitting it against something, etc. If it was caused by abuse, is Apple still 100% liable or is there some responsibility by the homeowner?



    I have two Magsafe adapters. One for home and one in the office so I don't have to carry the adapter around. They are plugged in all the time. I never give it a 2nd thought about them blowing up and burning the structure down. It even makes me think twice. But they are not in an area where failure could cause a major fire. Heck, if I had to think that way, I'd be unplugging everything each time we're not in the room!
  • Reply 52 of 81
    The article doesn't say if there was a problem with the connector, cable or the transformer brick. I know that my 2007 magsafe power adaptor cable started to show it's inner shielding. The plastic sheath gets bunched up a little every time you wind the cable up. I just stretched the plastic sheath back down while the cable was unwound and it covered the innards of the cable again.



    I'm wondering if this person had a similar problem but didn't do anything about it and continued to use the cable with part of it exposed. It's also possible that they didn't unwind the cable fully. That would also cause a problem in the same way that you're supposed to fully unwind power extension cables before plugging any appliance into them.
  • Reply 53 of 81
    olternautolternaut Posts: 1,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    "What's that? They have 50 billion dollars in cash, you say? Hmmmmmmmm...frivolous lawsuit time!"



    How the hell is this frivolous?
  • Reply 54 of 81
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    What I take issue with are posters that immediately put blame on Apple without waiting for the information of exactly what happened. I EXPECT an insurance company to investigate the cause. In all honestly, I wish all insurance companies investigated every claim before paying out just to settle to make sure there is no fraud involved. They are doing that, and if the case goes to trial (I doubt it), the truth will come out.



    ....



    Heck, if I had to think that way, I'd be unplugging everything each time we're not in the room!



    Nobody blamed Apple without waiting for the info... we are just saying based on our experience, we (at least I) wouldn't be surprised if the Magsafe adapter was to blame.



    On the other hand, it seems that you immediately blame on someone else.



    And, DO NOT UNPLUG your Macbook each time you are not in the room. That's exactly what breaks the cord. If you are always hooked up and never need to unplug/plug it, it is very unlikely that it will cause any problems.
  • Reply 55 of 81
    Having had the pleasure of rebuilding one of these connectors, (two hours of fun cutting through silicone and plastic,) not really. I discovered that the wires are concentric, not in parallel strands. This means that when there is any damage to the shielding/insulation a short can occur.

    Why the folks at Apple don't have a circuit breaker and or AFCI/GFCI built in I don't know, as the wires do melt and charr. Disclaimer, Yes I was pulling the cable not the connector. Duhh!. Maybe future designs should have a mag-safe connector on both ends, so the cable can simply be replaced and or extended when needed with a longer one. What a concept.[
  • Reply 56 of 81
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    [...] The guy didn't have any insurance. My insurance company paid for the damage to my car since we had collision and comprehensive coverage. I paid the deductable. Five years later I received a check from my insurance company for the deductable I had paid. They had persued this guy for five years, suing him, garnishing his wages, etc., until they got every penny out of him back.!



    Good one. I had the exact opposite experience. Some guy with a POS car ran a red light and very slightly scraped against my front bumper. It caused no damage to my car but put a nice scratch all the way down the side of his. Police came wrote a report that he was at fault and we went on our way. Six months later the DMV sent a letter saying my license would be revoked if I didn't send a certified check covering his damages. I contacted my insurance and learned that he had sued them and they just paid without even contacting me. Then he tried to get more money from me using the state. I finally got the DMV to return my money but that guy was a major weasel and the insurance company just caved in.
  • Reply 57 of 81
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Shouldn't have Apple done a recall if this were a real hazard? If they knew about it and did nothing then they should pay-up. Burning a person's house down (allegedly) with the possibility of a death is very serious. I have a Macbook so it would be responsible of Apple to own up to this making a statement either way and if there's an issue then tell folks, like me, of the potential issue.
  • Reply 58 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    Nobody blamed Apple without waiting for the info... we are just saying based on our experience, we (at least I) wouldn't be surprised if the Magsafe adapter was to blame.



    On the other hand, it seems that you immediately blame on someone else.



    And, DO NOT UNPLUG your Macbook each time you are not in the room. That's exactly what breaks the cord. If you are always hooked up and never need to unplug/plug it, it is very unlikely that it will cause any problems.



    I'm continually moving my Pro from room to room, and my cord as well. No problems whatsoever. AND if I ever saw any damage or fraying I'd have the common sense to know that the cable needed replacing.



    This sounds indeed like an insurance company looking at Apple's deep pockets. Nothing to see here. Move along.
  • Reply 59 of 81
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post


    This sounds indeed like an insurance company looking at Apple's deep pockets. Nothing to see here. Move along.



    Can't fault them for trying, but that is what insurance is for - to mitigate risk. Maybe the owner should have recognized the fraying of the cable but the insurance company would not be suing anyone if a frying pan caught on fire. Accidents happen. Covering their clients is their business. They receive premiums to pay for that sort of thing.
  • Reply 60 of 81
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    Google image search for "car" shows a bunch of burned cars. Are you sure cars aren't dangerous? See how stupid this is? The core problem is here is not that MagSafe is somehow badly designed, the problem here is both design and how people use it. Some people take care of their stuff, they look after they stuff and some just like a mess they don't think how they are actually using it. I'm not saying it's the case here, but there are two sides of the problem. Mine for example is old, but it looks like new, because i like my stuff to be clean and in working order.



    Save the insults. A google search for "car" shows pictures of cars. A google search of "burned car" shows what you describe! Do you not understand what my point was!?



    The abundance of these photos when searching for the product (not JUST " Magsafe burned") would leave anyone to reach a logical conclusion that this seems to be an abundant problem with this product.



    I guess its just all those trolls being paid by Apples competition, right? They bought all the immediate image results for "MagSafe" lol
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