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Old Jun 19, 2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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Best Buy Recalls Third-Party MacBook Batteries Over Fire Risk




Best Buy has recalled 5,100 third-party replacement MacBook batteries after at least 13 reports of the batteries catching fire.

Both the black and white varieties sold between September 2008 and June 2012 -- unit numbers MC-MBOOK13B and MC-MBOOK13W -- have been recalled and Best Buy will give customers replacements or a Best Buy gift card. Best Buy did note that they were not the only company to sell the batteries.

Gizmodo received this statement from Best Buy:
Quote:
After receiving reports from customers of these lithium ion batteries overheating when charging, we believe the right thing to do is to contact our customers and ask them to return the product for replacement or for a Best Buy gift card. While we are only one of many companies that may have sold these batteries, we feel they are a potential fire and burn hazard and want to keep our customers safe.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission page about the recall says the batteries are for the MacBook Pro, but they are in fact replacements for the black and white plastic MacBooks.

Article Link: Best Buy Recalls Third-Party MacBook Batteries Over Fire Risk
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 08:20 PM   #2
WhoDaKat
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Totally worth the $1.82 you saved going with the non-apple batteries.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 08:38 PM   #3
termite
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Originally Posted by WhoDaKat View Post
Totally worth the $1.82 you saved going with the non-apple batteries.
For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
I am all for saving money on accessories in general, but since a friend of mine told me about his home being burnt down due to a faulty battery or charger (hard to tell for the firefighters sorting through the charred remains) I am a lot more apprehensive about batteries.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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I wouldn't trust Geek Squad with a Windows machine let alone a Mac. I only go to BB if I need a peripheral and can't wait on the shipping with Newegg.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by termite View Post
For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
Yeah, and 100x more likely to burn your house to the ground... somewhat more than 40 bucks.

Another reason why I'll buy the proper Apple gear: 100% compatibility, and virtually zero risk to the device, me and my family. Only thing that gets upset is my wallet, not like it has feelings.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 10:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by madsci954 View Post
I wouldn't trust Geek Squad with a Windows machine let alone a Mac. I only go to BB if I need a peripheral and can't wait on the shipping with Newegg.
In all fairness, ATG batteries are sold at Batteries Plus, Amazon, and other retailers as well.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 10:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by termite View Post
For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
If you're shelling out even $89 for a battery let alone $129 for a computer that is 7 years old then I think there are greater things that need looking at.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 11:02 PM   #9
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If you're shelling out even $89 for a battery let alone $129 for a computer that is 7 years old then I think there are greater things that need looking at.
It's like an old reliable car. Pay $2000 to fix the engine, and keep the reliable car you know the 'bugs', buy a used car for more than $2000 that you know nothing about or buy a new car for $15,000.

Same with my reliable white macbook. Bought it in 2006. I got a new battery for it earlier this year. This macbook will serve me well for another few years, and save me a lot of money for 'better' things like vacations.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 12:06 AM   #10
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MMMMM, reliable Apple Batteries, are you guys kidding?

My BlackBook has an original Apple battery which has blown up (expanded) to the point where it interferes with the track pad operation.

The top case of the laptop has broken down to the point where the edge has chipped off about 40% of the way around.

I recall Apple batteries being responsible for a number of MacBooks catching alight in the past.

Apple have side-stepped their own safety recalls in my case, implying that batteries expanding to the point where the machine cannot function and the case disintegrating to the point where i have to keep the housing intact with 100 MPH tape and glue are not safety issues and should not be repaired free of charge. These issues were fixed free of charge for many owners in the USA but in Australia they tend to look at you as if you are an idiot when you mention product safety recalls.

I admit I have had very few problems with most of my Apple gear, (12" & 14" iBooks, 15" & 20" G4 iMacs, 17" PowerBooks, MacBook Pros 08, 09, 11, G5 2x2 Tower, iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, 4S) but the early MacBooks were *LEMONS*
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 12:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rijiMacDij View Post
MMMMM, reliable Apple Batteries, are you guys kidding?

My BlackBook has an original Apple battery which has blown up (expanded) to the point where it interferes with the track pad operation.
I had the same issue with my '08 Alu MB. Apparently, it was because I didn't "exercise" my battery enough and kept it on the charger 90% of the time I used it. I was covered under Applecare though, and they replaced it without any issues...so it wasn't that big of a deal.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 05:53 AM   #12
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Word of advice form a former Best Buy employee, don't buy anything from Best Buy, ever.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 08:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MrNomNoms View Post
If you're shelling out even $89 for a battery let alone $129 for a computer that is 7 years old then I think there are greater things that need looking at.
If it still works why replace it. My 2006 Macbook is fine, maybe a little slow processing some images in CS6 but overall perfect for my use.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 08:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by iMikeT View Post
Word of advice form a former Best Buy employee, don't buy anything from Best Buy, ever.
I hear you...

[Start sarcasm]
Here in Canada we have great alternatives: Future Shop (oh yeah, they're the same guys), The Source (the dollar store for electronics) and Walmart
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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Had some batteries start smoking in a few MacBooks for the school district I work at. Fortunately, we're getting rid of the 4-5 year old MacBooks this summer & getting new MacBook Airs. Not sure if the new MBAs announced at WWDC or the 2012 MBAs. Either way, we shouldn't have battery problems for a while. Fingers crossed.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 09:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by termite View Post
For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
Actually if you take your old battery in with you and make a Genius Bar appointment, the cost is $99 as opposed to $129 buying it off the floor. However the floor item has a 1 year warranty while the repair/replacement item only has a 90 day warranty.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 09:22 AM   #17
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Best Buy is going ghetto with all the Dynex, etc. no-name crap they stock. If you're going to buy a second battery for your MacBook, spend the few extra bucks for the one from Apple, not some "ATG" brand no one has ever heard of.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 09:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rijiMacDij View Post
MMMMM, reliable Apple Batteries, are you guys kidding?

My BlackBook has an original Apple battery which has blown up (expanded) to the point where it interferes with the track pad operation.

The top case of the laptop has broken down to the point where the edge has chipped off about 40% of the way around.

I recall Apple batteries being responsible for a number of MacBooks catching alight in the past.

Apple have side-stepped their own safety recalls in my case, implying that batteries expanding to the point where the machine cannot function and the case disintegrating to the point where i have to keep the housing intact with 100 MPH tape and glue are not safety issues and should not be repaired free of charge. These issues were fixed free of charge for many owners in the USA but in Australia they tend to look at you as if you are an idiot when you mention product safety recalls.

I admit I have had very few problems with most of my Apple gear, (12" & 14" iBooks, 15" & 20" G4 iMacs, 17" PowerBooks, MacBook Pros 08, 09, 11, G5 2x2 Tower, iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, 4S) but the early MacBooks were *LEMONS*
I used to work for Apple, you clearly don't understand the policies and procedures. First of all, the top case chipping had/has a quality program for it in place. Any non-unibody Macbook that has chipping on the top case and/or bezel can get a free replacement as long as it is under 5 years old. So if you didn't get your top case replaced in that time, boohoo. Second, regarding batteries, it is true that some batteries expand when they reach EOL and that is totally normal. I have seen this happen on EVERY model Macbook and Macbook Pro, even Macbook Airs. If the machine is under warranty, then the battery as well as anything that was affected by it (trackpad and/or top case typically) then that would also be replaced. However if the machine is out of warranty and the battery that has expanded is not under a separate warranty (purchased off the shelf within a year) then it is repaired at cost and is NOT covered. All I can say is that if you notice your trackpad feels stiff and your Macbook isn't sitting flat anymore, then you ought to pull your battery out and take a look at it to see if it is bulging. If it is, replace it immediately.

Now here's the deal. Geniuses won't swap batteries for free that are out of warranty (or anything really) because they are not allowed to. They would have to get approval from a manager in the form of a CS code to cover the repair. However there is one way around it. Non-unibody MacBooks, non-unibody Macbook pros, and the first generation of unibody MacBook Pros (as well as the 2008 aluminum Macbook) all had removable batteries, meaning they are a boxed part that can be bought off of the shelf. Geniuses still have the power to do a POS swap, or a return. This requires no approval from a manager. I used to do it all the time when we were behind at the bar because it is quick and easy. If you push them hard enough, they know they have this option and will swap it just to get you out of their hair. Also if you claim to have bought it off the shelf within the past year but you don't have proof, sometimes they will just swap it. I used to do it to make people happy after they took away all of our power to swap anything at all that was out of warranty. Keep in mind if you have like 900 cycles on your battery, you definitely didn't buy it off of the shelf within the past year :-)
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 10:03 AM   #19
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I get mine from eBay. Wonder if those have problems. I haven't had any.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 10:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbeagle View Post
It's like an old reliable car. Pay $2000 to fix the engine, and keep the reliable car you know the 'bugs', buy a used car for more than $2000 that you know nothing about or buy a new car for $15,000.

Same with my reliable white macbook. Bought it in 2006. I got a new battery for it earlier this year. This macbook will serve me well for another few years, and save me a lot of money for 'better' things like vacations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebabselector View Post
If it still works why replace it. My 2006 Macbook is fine, maybe a little slow processing some images in CS6 but overall perfect for my use.
At some point you have to stand back and ask yourself whether you've reached the point that you're putting more money into it than it is actually worth - do you just keep throwing money at it whilst ignoring the costs that are accruing?
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 10:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijiMacDij View Post
MMMMM, reliable Apple Batteries, are you guys kidding?

My BlackBook has an original Apple battery which has blown up (expanded) to the point where it interferes with the track pad operation.

The top case of the laptop has broken down to the point where the edge has chipped off about 40% of the way around.

I recall Apple batteries being responsible for a number of MacBooks catching alight in the past.

Apple have side-stepped their own safety recalls in my case, implying that batteries expanding to the point where the machine cannot function and the case disintegrating to the point where i have to keep the housing intact with 100 MPH tape and glue are not safety issues and should not be repaired free of charge. These issues were fixed free of charge for many owners in the USA but in Australia they tend to look at you as if you are an idiot when you mention product safety recalls.

I admit I have had very few problems with most of my Apple gear, (12" & 14" iBooks, 15" & 20" G4 iMacs, 17" PowerBooks, MacBook Pros 08, 09, 11, G5 2x2 Tower, iPod touch, iPhone 3GS, 4S) but the early MacBooks were *LEMONS*
+1000s

We bought several of the first-gen Intel MBPs, and they were very poor. Random restarts (resulting in a battery recall). Bulging batteries lifting the laptop off the desk (with the replacement batteries, not the recalled ones). On one charger, the cable is melting through the insulation near the Magsafe connector. On two devices, the cable between the wall & adaptor stopped working (replaced with a cheapo "kettle lead", which works flawlessly). In my experience, battery/adaptor/cable issues really were the MBP's Achilles heel.

To be fair though, recent (unibody) MBPs are far, far better. (Thankfully! - I can't imagine what would happen if a battery was bulging inside the unibody case! )
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 10:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by termite View Post
For my MacBook1,1 (which is only worth $100), OWC sells a new battery for $89 and Apple sells it for $129. That's somewhat more than two-bucks.
Did you go to an Apple store first, they more offend then not give you replace at less then retail.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 11:01 AM   #23
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Keeping it on a charger always kills it ....

I've seen SO many batteries on Dell laptops that hold zero charge now, even on machines only about 1 year old, because their owners constantly use them as desktop machines, charging in a dock.

(This happens a lot where I work, because they decided to issue everyone a portable instead of a desktop -- regardless of how often they actually travel. Some of them only undock the machine once or twice a year when they attend corporate meetings.)

That's not to say that the batteries should start bulging out so you can't even pry them out of the laptop anymore .... but batteries will be batteries. It's pretty tough to design one to where it's guaranteed to never do such a thing. (I've had aluminum soda cans bulge way up on top when they were left in a hot car all day, too. How big and heavy do you want the thing to withstand the pressure?)


Quote:
Originally Posted by hkim1983 View Post
I had the same issue with my '08 Alu MB. Apparently, it was because I didn't "exercise" my battery enough and kept it on the charger 90% of the time I used it. I was covered under Applecare though, and they replaced it without any issues...so it wasn't that big of a deal.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 11:10 AM   #24
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Word of advice form a former Best Buy employee, don't buy anything from Best Buy, ever.
How come?
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 11:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JSenders View Post
Snip
Thanks for coming in and saying everything I was going to say!

If you bring a bulging battery into the Apple Store, managers will quietly freak out and replace it in my experience.
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