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Rachel987

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
6
1
I have a Late 2017 Macbook Air, which I bought direct from Apple in April 2018. My battery seems to have failed - I'm getting a 'Service Recommended' message, and after resetting the PRAM and SMC, and doing a full discharge recharge, I'm still getting the warning. Coconut battery tells me the full capacity is 3361 mAh and the cycle count is 452 (full details attached). I'm disapointed that the battery has failed after less than 3 years of less than intensive use - apple says it should last about 1000 cycles and I would expect longer than this at least. There don't seem to be any recalls on this model, and I don't have apple care so I've got no other coverage. Before I go ahead with replacing the battery myself, I'm wondering if anyone in the UK has had any success claiming for battery under UK consumer law - it seems that I'm covered for 6 years this way? Thanks

Screenshot 2021-01-30 at 08.37.20.png
 

Wando64

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2013
2,223
2,879
I am just guessing so take this with a pinch of salt, but I would have thought that claiming on a battery more than two years after purchase would be very hard.
I know that batteries on Apple products are difficult to change, but they are still categorised as consumable parts.

All of that said, I would plead my case with Apple (initially without mentioning consumer laws).
After all, as you said, the number of cycles appears to be very low so it would be difficult for them to blame the failure on fair usage.

Good luck.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 603
Aug 19, 2017
6,146
7,000
Apple do specify a battery should retain about 80% after 1,000 cycles, so call them up and explain the situation. They may or may not waive the fee for the battery replacement given your circumstances but it's worth asking at least. Certainly don't go in demanding that they have to under UK law from the outset, it's usually the goodwill from the employee that gets results like this.
 
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NazgulRR

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2010
422
82
Apple do specify a battery should retain about 80% after 1,000 cycles, so call them up and explain the situation. They may or may not waive the fee for the battery replacement given your circumstances but it's worth asking at least.

Didn't work here for exactly this situation. Ended up paying £199. Had it for longer than 2 years.
 

Rachel987

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
6
1
Didn't work here for exactly this situation. Ended up paying £199. Had it for longer than 2 years.
If you don't mind me asking, did you try to use your consumer rights, or just quote the batteries "should retain about 80% after 1,000 cycles" thing?
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,966
50,974
In the middle of several books.
Coconut Battery is an estimate. Apple uses their own software to determine the health of any battery. And even though it is showing 80% health with less than 1000 cycles, that doesn't necessarily mean the battery is defective. A lot of different factors affect the chemical makes up of the battery.
 
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NazgulRR

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2010
422
82
If you don't mind me asking, did you try to use your consumer rights, or just quote the batteries "should retain about 80% after 1,000 cycles" thing?
Both. The battery was in fact inflated as well - the trackpad didn't function because of it. Definitely a defective battery - both visibly and per the cycles/health test.
 

Fred Zed

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2019
5,114
5,991
Florida Unfortunately
I have a Late 2017 Macbook Air, which I bought direct from Apple in April 2018. My battery seems to have failed - I'm getting a 'Service Recommended' message, and after resetting the PRAM and SMC, and doing a full discharge recharge, I'm still getting the warning. Coconut battery tells me the full capacity is 3361 mAh and the cycle count is 452 (full details attached). I'm disapointed that the battery has failed after less than 3 years of less than intensive use - apple says it should last about 1000 cycles and I would expect longer than this at least. There don't seem to be any recalls on this model, and I don't have apple care so I've got no other coverage. Before I go ahead with replacing the battery myself, I'm wondering if anyone in the UK has had any success claiming for battery under UK consumer law - it seems that I'm covered for 6 years this way? Thanks

View attachment 1721989
Was it always left plugged in?
 

Rachel987

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
6
1
Coconut Battery is an estimate. Apple uses their own software to determine the health of any battery. And even though it is showing 80% health with less than 1000 cycles, that doesn't necessarily mean the battery is defective. A lot of different factors affect the chemical makes up of the battery.
But mine is showing that the battery needs servicing both on coconut battery and on apple battery, and has only done 452 cycles. It's not on 80% health.
 

Spudlicious

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2015
936
818
Bedfordshire, England
Interesting case. Especially because the battery is ballooning as well as being electrically dud, it must be worth a tussle with Apple, they can afford to show you some goodwill. But consumer law? (Disclaimer: I am proud to not be a lawyer) If you could get Trading Standards to take up your case, but don't put your own money into a battle.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,966
50,974
In the middle of several books.
But mine is showing that the battery needs servicing both on coconut battery and on apple battery, and has only done 452 cycles. It's not on 80% health.
My apology. I missed the part about the Apple service message. My point still stands, though. Although not probable, your battery may be prematurely worn due to several different factors, instead of defective. If you send to Apple for repair, I doubt they will rule defective given the time frame. I would not raise the legal aspect unless you have a way of proving it, which you don't.
 

Rachel987

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
6
1
Interesting case. Especially because the battery is ballooning as well as being electrically dud, it must be worth a tussle with Apple, they can afford to show you some goodwill. But consumer law? (Disclaimer: I am proud to not be a lawyer) If you could get Trading Standards to take up your case, but don't put your own money into a battle.
I’m not trying to be overtly litigious, just considering it as it’s clearly mentioned as a right for return on the apple Uk website https://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/
 

RAFbombhead

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2020
74
57
I’m not trying to be overtly litigious, just considering it as it’s clearly mentioned as a right for return on the apple Uk website https://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/
The problem you face is that the battery is classified as a consumable item.
Although I do think that 3 years or so is still a short life. I passed my early 2013 MBP to a niece and the battery still holds for 4-5 hours for her.
As someone else mentioned, if you press gently on customer services, they normally relent. At least in my experience anyway.

Quick Edit: how did you purchase the MacBook? If it was with a credit card, you could still be entitled to claim through them?
 

bob_zz123

macrumors regular
Nov 23, 2017
118
150
This possibly isn't what you're going to want to hear, in which case feel free to skip over, but I would say that you are extremely unlikely to be able to make a successful consumer law claim for this given the age and the fact it's a consumable part.

You don't get an automatic 6-year warranty with UK consumer law, it means you have the right to ask the retailer to consider a consumer law claim for up to 6 years. Consumer law is meant to cover inherent defects that were present in a product from day one, not to cover parts which have failed due to the course of normal wear and tear, and, let me be frank, bad luck.

The absolute worst case scenario is neither of you can reach an agreement (you want a free repair, Apple want to charge £199) and it goes to court. You would have to prove (at your own expense) that the product was inherently defective from day one, this would probably mean paying for an independent engineer to look at the product.

Other things that a court is entitled to consider is that you have had 3-years use of the product, and they are entitled to consider the use you have had out of the product. In summary, if they did find in your favour, it might be that a 50% repair cost be ordered, for example, rather than for a free repair.

It does seem unfortunate that the battery has failed after 3 years but there are so many variables with consumable parts including the charging and running habits, even things as minor as what temperature it is stored at. I would probably ask for a gesture of good will and say you're prepared to pay something as you understand it is consumable (perhaps they could meet you half way with the repair cost); you may not have much luck if you go in all guns blazing. If the enclosure has swollen Apple will usually cover any damaged parts (enclosure, trackpad, whatever), if you paid for the battery to be replaced. Ultimately £199 is quite expensive for a battery although not wildly outside what other computer manufacturers charge for modern built-in batteries, but you might be able to persuade Apple to meet you half way and charge £99 if you approached it in that way.

Like I say I'm sure you may not have wanted to hear this, but just my opinion really.

Many thanks.
 

Spudlicious

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2015
936
818
Bedfordshire, England
The problem you face is that the battery is classified as a consumable item.
Although I do think that 3 years or so is still a short life. I passed my early 2013 MBP to a niece and the battery still holds for 4-5 hours for her.
As someone else mentioned, if you press gently on customer services, they normally relent. At least in my experience anyway.

Quick Edit: how did you purchase the MacBook? If it was with a credit card, you could still be entitled to claim through them?
I too think gentle persistence is likeliest to produce a result, although how likely is hard to predict. To suffer a MacBook battery failure after three years is tough luck, and the individuals you deal with should see that.
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2009
2,741
2,909
Lincoln, UK
No, I often do a full discharge and work with it on battery most of every day
Lithium-Ion batteries have the longest life if they are only rarely discharged to below about 40%. They don’t like the deep discharges that benefitted the older Ni-Cad batteries. Hopefully that information will help preserve the new battery.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,966
50,974
In the middle of several books.
Lithium-Ion batteries have the longest life if they are only rarely discharged to below about 40%. They don’t like the deep discharges that benefitted the older Ni-Cad batteries. Hopefully that information will help preserve the new battery.
Good catch. I missed that salient point in her post. If she did that regularly, that is probably why the battery is in the state it is.
 

James_C

macrumors 68030
Sep 13, 2002
2,836
1,875
Bristol, UK
@Rachel987 , Unfortunately I agree with the posts above. The Battery is a consumable part and is not therefore normally covered under extended warranty under UK consumer law, unless you can prove it was a manufacturing defect at the time of purchase. In addition the shortened life is likely to have been caused by frequently letting the battery completely discharge.

It is true that you should not leave a Lith-Ion battery plugged in all the time, but you should not let it frequently run completely flat either.
 
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