2012 MBA 11" just arced, smoked and died....

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by fairplayinc, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. fairplayinc macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    That just about sums it up.

    I purchased a new MacBook air (2.0 i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) last Monday. Last night I was sitting with it on my lap. I picked up my cell phone and, while looking at a recently received email, I heard an arcing sound. Like that sound you hear in the winter time when you get zapped by a metal object. The screen went dead instantly and to my amazement, smoke started rising from the USB port on the left side. It smoked for just over 10 seconds. The smell was awful. A thick combination of plastic and hotness. I was over in no time. There I sat. With a $1600 paper weight.

    So i took a ride to my local Apple store and you would not believe what a hassle i went through. As soon as I mentioned that it basically caught fire, I had a barrage of questions and hoops that I had to jump through. A safety report that I had to complete. It seemed as though they were genuinely concerned about the overall safety of the situation. Then as the questions progressed, it was obvious that they were concerned primarily of getting sued.

    After all of the questions and about an hour later, I got a replacement machine. I have had lots and lots of macs. This is the first time I ever had a tragic failure of this magnitude.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully none of you have an experience like this. If you do, please chime in and let us know!

    Thanks for reading.
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Glad that no one was hurt and you got a replacement machine.

    They had you do the forms so, yes, they wouldn't get sued, and so there was documentation of what happened, in case there is a larger problem.
  3. ijen0311 macrumors 65816


    Jul 4, 2009
    Rofl. I laughed but that sucks. Glad you got it replaced.
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Too bad about the MacBook Air. While I agree it was a hassle to fill out all those forms, sadly that's a product of our litigious times. I'm guessing also that they need to keep track of those types of situations, since if it happens enough times, they may need to order a recall.

    If it had just been a "normal" failure, like a bad logic board that caused it not to boot up (with no smoke or spark), chances are they'd have just swapped it out with no hassle.
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Yeah, I think that's probably a big part of it. It's a brand new product revision so any problems like this are probably supposed to be documented and reported.
  6. norneDK macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2011
  7. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
  8. ijen0311 macrumors 65816


    Jul 4, 2009
  9. infectedfall macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2011
    a quick phone call to customer relations explaining the dangerous and scary situation their product has just put you through should fix you with an iPod shuffle at the least. :D:apple:
  10. JBST macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2012
    Sorry to hear your bad luck...

    This reminded me of a recent post about the new MBA dying and smoking...

    see link:

    Only difference is that the OP had a 11" while the other person had a 13"

    Both seem to be i7 config... any correlation?? or coincidence?

    I have to agree that this scares me a bit too considered I also placed an order for the i7...
  11. jgo78 macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    hopefully this is an extreme rare case, like the new samsung S IIIs that have been known to explode recently.
  12. KPOM, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Probably just a coincidence. The i5 and i7 are identical except for the processor, and they have the same TDP. The only difference is that the i7 has a little more cache and runs a little bit faster. These types of things are rare, but do happen. If there's a larger issue, there will be a recall, but the odds are overwhelming that your MacBook Air, whether i5 or i7, will be just fine. Likely the issue with these logic boards wasn't the processor, but something else (perhaps a short somewhere in one of the connectors).

    I think that Intel makes a lot of the different processors on the same production line. They then subject them to testing. Some of the i5s or slower i7s could be physically identical to the 2.0GHz i7, but didn't pass specs at the maximum turbo boost, and thus were limited to the slower speeds and sold as i5s or slower i7s. E.g. if Intel sets out to make 100 2.0GHz Core i7s on a wafer (made up number), and 5 of them are just outside of spec at the maximum Turbo Boost of the 2.0GHz , but are perfectly fine if throttled down 100 MHz, then it is better to sell them as i5s or 1.9GHz i7s than to junk them.
  13. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    So if I get my balls fried by MBA, would I get rich?
  14. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    If you successfully sued, then sure.
  15. hbsgay macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2011
    glad to hear you are fine.
    Lesson learned, i should get an i5
  16. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    That makes absolutely no sense.
  17. GBlansten macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2012
    Thick Ascending Limb
    For the demographic that is affluent and doesn't want their balls fried this would not work out well.:D
  18. dmn001 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2009
    To OP. Did you take any photos of the damage? Was it plugged in or on battery?
  19. macneubie macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    Got pictures of the fried air to see?
  20. fairplayinc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    I did not. There were no signs of scorching or anything on the outside. The guy at the apple store took it apart and confirmed that the logic board had fried. Near the cooling fan. He also smelled that same melted plastic stench.

    It was hooked up to power. That was also returned.
  21. dmn001 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2009
    Thanks for your reply. Just one more quick question, was it a surge protected power outlet or not?
  22. mukade macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2010
    I would rather be poor and have nuticus intacticum.
  23. fairplayinc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2010
    Yes. It was surge protected.

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