2006 MacBook Pro battery blew up

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Thermonuclear, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

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    May 23, 2009
    #1
    Over the weekend, I had my old yet still useful 2006 MacBook Pro do some CPU intensive work unattended while I was enjoying my lunch. Not halfway through my pastrami sandwich, I hear a popping noise from the pantry where I had left the notebook running with its Apple charger connected. The notebook, still running, had been pushed up and off its stand because its Apple battery (a removable one, model A1175) had given up the ghost, breaking its case with some of its cells expanding to three times their normal width.

    I immediately disconnected the changer from the notebook and unplugged it from the wall in fear that it may have been the culprit. The charger was at a normal temperature, but the battery was very hot.

    While the notebook and its battery were no longer under the one year warranty, I feel that even when a warranty expires the product should not become a safety hazard. Perhaps I should be glad that I was in the next room and not out for an hour running an errand then coming home to a pile of ashes.

    I'd like to send the battery back to Apple for a replacement in exchange for me forgiving them for bad design/bad manufacturing. But the US Postal Service refuses to ship a damaged lithium ion battery.
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #2
    Every time I see an older Macbook or MBPro - one of the first things that I check is the physical shape of the battery.
    Takes 5 seconds to pop out the battery, then flip upside down on a flat surface. If the battery rocks instead of being flat, I call it a fail... I think it's highly unlikely that you had a perfectly flat battery.

    The Macbook that I have in front of me now (early 2008) had a battery that was slowly getting "fat".
    At one point, I let the battery discharge until the MacBook powered off by itself. The next time I charged it, the battery case split open. It had been slowly swelling for most of a year before that time.
    Not as bad as yours, but they can suddenly go "off"
    You can try taking in to an Apple store, but I think that you will find that all MacBooks that use that battery are now obsolete, and Apple won't have replacement batteries for that generation (I could be wrong on that... )
    If the battery is original, then 9 years is a long time for a battery to last, when many only go 3 to 5 years before losing enough charge capacity to make them useless on battery.
     
  3. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I have the battery in front of me and it shows no signs of pre-event swelling. Both upper and lower surfaces are flat, although they are no longer aligned because the right side of the upper surface has been pushed far up with its little plastic inner latches broken to bits.

    Under warranty or out of warranty, a well treated piece of equipment should not pose a safety hazard. The notebook was never abused and it along with the battery and charger are all original Apple hardware. Further, I had used a special stand to support the notebook so that it could get extra cooling from air passing underneath.

    No where in Apple's advertising or product documentation did it say "Do not use after warranty has expired." Nowhere did Apple ever deny an implied warranty of merchantability. I'm not asking for a replacement notebook, although that would be an acceptable compensation for the scare. But asking for a replacement battery is not too much; things would be much worse for Apple if a fire had started.
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #4
    It`s the nature of batteries, good luck with Apple. Same as my Early 2008 you've more than had your moneys worth and the battery was well and truly overdue replacing.

    Send Apple some pictures, or visit your local store...

    Q-6
     
  5. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #5
    It's common knowledge that old batteries tend to die, blow up, etc. etc. Keep in mind your computer is 9 years old, it's more than normal for a battery of this age to die, don't mention the one-year warranty, because that period has repeated itself 8 times before the battery blew up. Apple won't do anything to a 2006 MBP, but you could replace the battery yourself (you could buy one, but make sure not to buy those cheap chinese batteries).
     
  6. Samuelsan2001, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015

    Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #6
    There is no bad design or manufacturing a nine year old battery is a hazard thats the nature of the beast. It is your responsibility to service the machine after it's warranty period and changing the battery is part of that you wouldn't leave batteries in anything else for 9 years and not expect them to be an issue hell even car batteries rarely last that long. This applies to all modern electronics. The fact that people are largely ignorant of this is their own look out the information is readily available.
     
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #7
    It is veeery common with those old batteries, and a well known thing to look out for.
     
  8. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I just happen to have an Acer notebook and a Toshiba notebook, both about as old as the MacBook Pro. Both are working fine and with their original, non-exploding batteries. I've also got a 2000 PowerBook and a 2002 iBook, and their batteries are intact. Face it, there was something wrong with the 2006 MacBook Pro or its battery.
     
  9. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #9
    First off, how much did you use the PB and iB and notebook compared to your Macbook Pro? If you have a computer that sat there for 10 years in the attic, the battery won't blow up. If you charge it everyday, then it's obvious it's gonna happen eventually. Second, not all batteries are made equal and defects happen! No need to blame Apple for this.
     
  10. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    All of the machines are used regularly; did you think i was trying to mislead you? If so, you're not likely to believe anything else I'll write, and you're welcome to leave this thread.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #11
    All fair enough mate, but you have literally no comeback after the warranty period and no one supports their laptops for longer than 5 years, that is the world we live in. I understand that your other batteries have lasted better but thats just luck of the draw, not any evidence that you have anything other than a lithium ion battery that has come to the end of it's life spectacularly, as could happen any time with your other ones.
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #12
    All rechargeable batteries deteriorate over time. The batteries eventually stop taking on a charge, or the charge, such as it is, lasts nowhere near as long as when new. That's one symptom of older rechargeables as they wear out. Other symptoms manifest themselves in various ways, such as running hot, physical swelling, or even leaking. Many batteries die gently, and just lose charge capacity. Others are more "involved", and may die a more violent death.

    Incidents happen occasionally, sometimes leading to repairs or recall of possible defective units.
    Do a search for "laptops on fire". You will see that many are related to batteries, very often those manufactured by Sony, although Sony is not alone with that (Apple in the past has used batteries manufactured by Sony, as well as others.)
    Acer - http://www.alphr.com/acer/10631/acer-recalls-27000-sony-laptop-batteries
    Toshiba - http://www.pcworld.com/article/133092/article.html
    And, of course, Apple - http://phys.org/news/2004-08-apple-recalls-flaming-inch-powerbook.html#nRlv
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    2006 MacBook with a blown battery?

    Time for something new.

    'Nuff said.
     
  14. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    #14
    I don't think Apple will do anything. There have been other stories of electronic devices with lithium ion batteries exploding. I agree that the potential risk is disconcerting, but it looks like companies don't do much unless it's under warranty. I have seen posts of people warning against buying 3rd party replacement batteries because of poor quality so keep that in mind if you decide to replace it. It is worth contacting Apple to see what they say.
     
  15. PolygonWRLD macrumors newbie

    PolygonWRLD

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    #15
    Apple stores do not stock hardware that is used in machines more than 5 years old since according to them it is 'ancient', i would attempt contacting apple on there website as i'm sure they would attempt to avoid the bad press :)
     
  16. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    #16
    So did you ever replace the battery during the time you've had your MBP or at least check up on it in System Profiler to see how many cycles it had been through?
     
  17. Thermonuclear thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Some of you are missing the point.

    I did not claim that the notebook was under its original explicit warranty; no need to suggest otherwise. I do claim that every item sold in the US has, unless explicitly stated otherwise before the sale, an implied warranty of fitness. Further, I claim that a manufacturer cannot dodge claims for failures causing safety hazards regardless of such occurring after the explicit warranty period. If you follow the US automobile industry, you'll see how manufacturers were forced to recall and repair vehicles for safety faults which were many years past the original warranty period. The only exception to this which comes to mind is if the manufacturer has gone through bankruptcy or has gone out of business; Apple is still going strong.

    I did not claim that all 2006 MacBook Pro computers or their batteries were faulty; no need to suggest otherwise. But mine was, and that in spite of good care and using only Apple hardware and accessories in a proper manner and not using any third party hardware.

    I did not claim that a manufacturer has to honor the terms of the original warranty after its expiration for usual defects in parts or workmanship; no need to suggest otherwise. What I do claim is that a safety defect, like a bad notebook/battery that could burn down your house and kill you and your family is not a usual defect.

    I did not claim that the notebook is any newer or older than what it is. I do claim that if it was hazardous to use the notebook after a certain date, then Apple should have damned well had stated that before the sale and also in the documentation.
     
  18. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #18
    Apple will likely point out that if your battery was well past the point of exhaustion (worn out by time and use), so, even your good care means, eh- not so much - when Apple would have sold you a replacement battery long ago. You just got caught in waiting way too long to replace the battery.

    Should Apple notify you of every possible outcome of normal wear and tear?
    'Twould be a seemingly endless stream of information, I think.
     
  19. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #19


    So go and ask, personally I don't want to feel I am paying for your consumables through my Apple purchases.

    Batteries are like tyres, they wear out, at a combined rate caused by age and driver usage but they will eventually become unfit for use (even with zero mileage). Such worn out tyres are not the tyre manufacturers fault, nor the car manufacturer's fault, its just the nature of the product. Next time find out a bit more about the products you use, there must be a million hits on the life of laptop batteries in general and MBP batteries in particular had you looked.

    Oh and many products have a useful life well beyond their warranty (good!), so the absence of such a "warning" is a ridiculous non-starter.
     
  20. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #20
    I personally think you're acting like an entitled prick. Apple does not manufacture nor design batteries. It is in no way, shape or form any of Apple's responsibility that you have been negligent in your maintaining the computer. Should the battery have caught fire, it would've been through your neglect. The computer has probably been telling you to "Service Battery" for years. You clearly did not.

    With that out of the way, LiPo batteries such as those used in today's mobile phones and laptops are prone to catastrophic failure after about the 5 year mark -this is very important- regardless of usage or care. This is common knowledge in the tech world. Most of them die a slow, gentle death, while others are a bit more spectacular, like yours.

    Tech companies make the (rather safe) bet that whatever it is you're using, you'll have tossed it long before then, and thus will never experience it. The battery'll get recycled if you've properly disposed of your electronics.

    Your iBook and PowerBook do not use the same battery technology. You're comparing apples to oranges.

    Go right ahead and complain to Apple, they'll (rightly so) tell you that there is nothing they can do.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #21
    OP wrote above:
    "I did not claim that the notebook was under its original explicit warranty; no need to suggest otherwise. I do claim that every item sold in the US has, unless explicitly stated otherwise before the sale, an implied warranty of fitness. Further, I claim that a manufacturer cannot dodge claims for failures causing safety hazards regardless of such occurring after the explicit warranty period."

    You can make all the "claims" you want.
    It's not going to change things.

    Your only reasonable option with a 2006 MacBook with a blown battery is to scrap it and buy a replacement.

    You could probably salvage the internal drive and get your data off of it.

    Why don't you send an email with your complaints to Tim Cook ??
     
  22. ABC5S macrumors 68040

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    Sep 10, 2013
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    Florida
    #22
    Goodness OP, after a few years, maybe 4, I would have used Common Sense, and replaced my battery, not waiting till it blows up at 8 or 9 years. Just Wow on that one. Next time, change the battery Mr.
     
  23. dsmedic10 macrumors member

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    #23
    Damn I should post on Ford.com about how my 2004 Ford Focus needs new tires, those cheap bastards!
     
  24. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #24
    And without telling you the SPECIFIC DATE that you had to change them! Who knew!!
     
  25. Apples n' Stone macrumors 6502a

    Apples n' Stone

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    #25
    No, they should buy me a new one because I don't service my computers properly. I will forgive THEM for MY negligence if they replace it with a brand new top spec system I don't want to pay for.

    General gist of this thread.
     

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