Denmark rules design defect in iBook G4.


majordude

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2007
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Reminds me of the Ford Pinto. Ford knew that there were problems but they figured the rare lawsuits were cheaper than fixing the problem for everyone.

A year of complaints and Apple didn't know what was going on? Puh-leeez.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Reminds me of the Ford Pinto. Ford knew that there were problems but they figured the rare lawsuits were cheaper than fixing the problem for everyone.
That's a bit overdramatic. To be fair, quite a lot less catastrophic (for your health and even your data) than that example. And the actual failure mode is pretty low base rate too.

But it does very much seem to be a legitimate and addressable problem.

I'll be curious to see what shakes out of this. Will there be an international recall, or will Apple try to just fix the problem for Danes and pretend like nothing happened anywhere else? Not that I'm particularly likely to benefit from it... my iBook hasn't shown any symptoms of this in four years, so unless it magically does during the recall period, eh. By the time it reaches six or seven I probably won't even care myself.
 

mkrishnan

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Jan 9, 2004
29,641
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
It's a soldering defect -- certain solder points undergo cumulative stress with each power cycle and experience a repetitive stress failure at a later time. Affected computers apparently fail to start at all (or possibly the screen doesn't light, but I think they mean that it doesn't start), and the defect apparently typically arises slightly more than a year after purchase. People have tried and failed to get Apple to replace them outside of warranty and have devised various shims that put pressure on the solder point involved so that it works, even though it has failed mechanically.

That's what I've surmised from the articles. I've personally never seen an iBook to which this happened. The defect is pretty well reported (and appears to make up a substantial fraction of the failure mode of iBooks that do fail), although I've also never seen evident that it's particularly frequent (in the sense that it might be a high percentage of all iBooks sold, as opposed to failed). I'm not saying it isn't -- just that I've never seen evidence that it is.
 

majordude

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Apr 28, 2007
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People have tried and failed to get Apple to replace them outside of warranty...
That's the thing with some of these big companies. If they had just quietly repaired the ones that were reported no one would have known. Now everyone will know and probably some people who didn't have that problem will think they have that problem and put doubt about Apple's quality and honesty into their heads.
 

G4DP

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2007
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Not Apples problem

A warranty is their for a reason, anything that happens outside of a warranty is not Apples problem to deal with.

It's a common occurance that things fail just after the waranty expires. That's the way it happens, why do so many people always need to find someone to blame. It is getting really pathetic.

Apple also offers AppleCare. Why didn't they purchase this?. Apple are not responsible for this.

And no i'm not a fanboy, i've had a iMac that died after 14 months. I was pissed, but I didn't purchase AppleCare so that was my problem. People need to start taking responsibility themselves instead of always passing the book.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I've had stuff that goes bad after the warranty expires too, sure. But in this specific case, I think the key is that Danish law doesn't work the way you think. I am not finding a good link for the specifics right now, but I believe they essentially have laws that override limited warranties for certain classes of product flaws or failures, of which design defects are one. That's why the claim is so specific. That countries or provinces have laws overriding warranties is not unique to Denmark or Europe... it exists at least pretty much universally in some form in the developed world, including the US (each law is different, though). You'll note every American warranty has a phrase in it to the effect that the warranty may be superseded by law.
 

navigator

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2006
18
0
A warranty is their for a reason, anything that happens outside of a warranty is not Apples problem to deal with.

People need to start taking responsibility themselves instead of always passing the book.
So very true, in every aspect of life stuff is becoming everyone else's fault.
 

antibact1

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2006
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Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Jan 10, 2007
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bleep
Sweet. So all one would need to do is score an iBook from eBay and then get a refund from Apple ! Of course that would only work if you had the original receipt.
 

dammitjanet@gma

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2007
47
0
This happened to my iBook G4 just after its 3rd birthday. It would freeze up and I'd have to flex the laptop to get it to unfreeze. never mind startign it up, asme thing, or the old flashing ? would appear.

I just bought a new macBook and mothballed the G4
 

oYx

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2007
191
3
London
i am guessing that a product having a defective design is different from a product wearing down from usage. i'd think that while warranty covers both, the former scenario means that the user is denied reasonable usage from the start and certain regulations can be effected to protect the consumer.

i'm not in any way an expert on this, but i recall hearing about how a defective design is certainly not the same as wear & tear.
 

officerdick

macrumors regular
May 4, 2006
136
0
A warranty is their for a reason, anything that happens outside of a warranty is not Apples problem to deal with.

It's a common occurance that things fail just after the waranty expires. That's the way it happens, why do so many people always need to find someone to blame. It is getting really pathetic.

Apple also offers AppleCare. Why didn't they purchase this?. Apple are not responsible for this.

And no i'm not a fanboy, i've had a iMac that died after 14 months. I was pissed, but I didn't purchase AppleCare so that was my problem. People need to start taking responsibility themselves instead of always passing the book.
In the E.U. there are two years of waranty on all sold electronics. The first year the shop has to prove that the customer "broke it", and if they can't they have to repair it. After the first year the cutstomer has to prove that it's a production flaw, that causes the error. This can be diffucult, but when the Danish Consumer Group, claims that the iBook is not fabricated, according to the soldering standards Apple prommises, it is Apple's fault. And almost nobody buys apple care over here, it just dosn't make sense. Some people buy a three year all risk insurance, that covers if you sit on your laptop.
 

atomicchicken

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2006
29
0
Sweet. So all one would need to do is score an iBook from eBay and then get a refund from Apple ! Of course that would only work if you had the original receipt.
So does this mean apple is refunding those who had to get their logicboards replaced? Is this only in europe or worldwide?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
So does this mean apple is refunding those who had to get their logicboards replaced? Is this only in europe or worldwide?
At this point, I'd think you'd have to (1) be a resident of Denmark and (2) probably have purchased the notebook there -- I'm not sure about (2), since Apple's global warranty on notebooks may stop an imported notebook from being defacto "grey market."
 

Hairnester

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2007
1
0
Atlanta, Ga
A warranty is their for a reason, anything that happens outside of a warranty is not Apples problem to deal with.

It's a common occurance that things fail just after the waranty expires. That's the way it happens, why do so many people always need to find someone to blame. It is getting really pathetic.

Apple also offers AppleCare. Why didn't they purchase this?. Apple are not responsible for this.

And no i'm not a fanboy, i've had a iMac that died after 14 months. I was pissed, but I didn't purchase AppleCare so that was my problem. People need to start taking responsibility themselves instead of always passing the book.
I could understand that if this were a less pricey product, or if it had died in less than a year, or even if a fewer number of laptops were affected, but what happened is ridiculous. This is a problem that wasn't fixed by just replacing the board, too. There are reports of numerous replacements and the iBook still broke down, which is a sign of a manufacturing defect and I didn't pay over $800 to have a laptop I'd have to keep repairing.

What got me angry through the whole thing is Apple's denial of a problem. Through the class action suit, numerous reports and petitions, several forums and even websites dedicated to this one specific problem, every time I (and a few other people I know with the same problem) called Apple to see what was being done, they denied they knew of any problem, right up to Steve Job's representative.

So if letting Apple get away with selling me a defective laptop that I paid good money for is taking responsibility I'll gladly be lumped into that pile of people that "pass the book" as you put it, but I sure as hell can't be blamed for doing so.