MBA 13" M.Lopic Board Failure after just 2 years

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sickofapple, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. sickofapple macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2014
    In 2003 I bought a 40G ipod for $400 and it failed after 13 months, not fixable, totally froze up and Apple wouldn't do anything to support it or replace it. $400 down the drain (actually more including music and external battery pack, and headphones...probably totalled $600 WASTED) and I swore to never buy any Apple products again, stopped using iTunes and was fine for 8 years. This was until I fell in love with the MacBook Air. I waited for the new release in late 2011 as I knew to never buy the first product run of Apple products. I examined the failure rates etc. I wasn't going to get DUPED again.

    Just over 2 years later, last week I was working on my MBA and it just shut down. Not one single sign of a failure, never overheated, never had graphics board issues, and had upgraded to Mavericks a month before. And could not be recovered at all, I tried all the techniques from all the forums and apple support advice. Finally got to the Authorised support centre here in Thailand, it's in the centre of the shutdown downtown in the middle of the protests. It's called iServe, they looked at it for 5 minutes and told me the MLB is done and it will be B17,000(US$570) to replace. And it is only given a 90 day warranty.

    Needless to say I am angry, depressed and just generally pissed off again at Apple and the waste of money their products become. Am I seriously only expected to get 2 years of use out of a product I paid US$1300 for?

    If anyone knows of any class action lawsuits against Apple and logic board failures please let me know as I will be more than happy to join and support them.., matter what the cost.

    I also feel ashamed as I have raved to everyone I know about the performance of this computer. And Mavericks was really good for the month I used it. This is just like being a jilted lover.....and I want to make Apple pay this time. :mad:


    Also, if anyone knows of a way I can recover all the files without having to pay $600 more to this horrible company please let me know.


    So disgruntled.
  2. cyber16 macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2013
  3. sickofapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2014
    Thanks but I bought it in October of 2011. The MBA is dead, no life whatsoever. I can't even get the power button to work. And technicians analysed it and couldn't get and life either.

    It's just another faulty logic board with MacBook Airs. Sadly I am $1300 down the drain unless I want to brave paying another $570 to get it to work again. What a liability.
  4. cyber16 macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2013
    Time to open her up and maybe replace the magsafe I/O board & cable as that can fail and will make it act dead.
    It may be worth a shot
    You can pull the SSD and purchase a sata or usb adapter from ebay to retrieve data.
    The air will sell for rather big $s on ebay for parts or whole as is afterwards.
  5. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    This isn't what the OP wants to hear. The OP wants us to reaffirm that Apple is a bad company because they somehow knowingly marketed him two products that failed outside their warranty period.

    Of course, this implies that Apple somehow knew the OP would not purchase AppleCare for either the iPod or the MBA.

    The moral of the story here: Buy AppleCare, or take your chances after a year. I've been using Mac laptops since the PowerBook 100 and have never had any unit fail. In a totally "fair" universe, unlikely things would not happen, and unlucky people would not exist. Sad to say, the universe isn't particularly concerned about being fair.
  6. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon

    To jmoore5196:

    My experience is a little different. I have had units fail (two classic iPods, where the old style HDD failed; both were replaced as they were still under the one year warranty), a MBP where the HDD - again - failed; this was replaced after two and a half years, as I always buy Applecare.

    Again, I have needed a keyboard and a Magsafe replacement on a 13" MBA; once again, Applecare to the rescue.

    There have been several threads on this forum on the topic of Applecare and it appears that opinion is very much divided on the matter. Some reject it entirely as a triumph of marketing and as a waster of money. Others, and I count myself among them, are of the view that Applecare gives you peace of mind for three years, saves you quite a lot of money in the event that something goes wrong, and, usually makes selling the computer on somewhat easier as long as it is done within the period of warranty covered by Applecare.

    Personally, I have always bought Applecare for computers, and, more recently, for iPads; I didn't bother with it for my iPods, and, as mentioned above, the ones that did fail did so during the period covered by the initial one year warranty.

    OP, I am sorry for your trouble. However, I have heard too many tales of products failing after the proverbial 13 months, that I usually prefer to invest in an extended warranty if such a thing is possible.
  7. sickofapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2014
    Any idea is helpful at this point, even if it is a slim chance this could be the issue. I am assuming the Apple service people would have known to recognise this problem before saying the MLB needed to be replaced but who knows. To be honest they don't speak English so communicating to try and get them to try something like your suggestion is difficult. I might just hang on to it until I am in an English speaking country and see what we can do.
  8. sickofapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2014
    Sure jmoore, whatever you say. I wrote the post to warn others of the pitfalls of buying Apple products because I am frustrated at losing 2 years of work and having no ability to use my computer without spending close to $600. Do you think that is somehow unreasonable? I am sure I am not the only one to find this. In fact, others have posted in the thread to say the same.

    If you want to know the truth, Apple does market products to people that they know are going to fail. Have you ever heard the term failure rate? Do you not think it is possible to make a Logic Board that under normal conditions should work for 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years or 5 years statistically? Making the purchase of Apple Care obsolete. Of course you can, and companies weigh those options up against costs and other product launches to manage end of life and failures of their components. And yes, my feeling is Apple is doing this more so then most ethical what? It's my belief.

    You are suggesting that every purchase of an Apple product be made with the additional purchase of a extended warranty. I suggest that a company with quality that bad improve the quality of their products as they are knowingly causing customers an undo amount of pain.


    Well thanks for your understanding. Your well written post has convinced me actually, if I am going to buy another Apple product, I will definitely get AppleCare.

    And just to elaborate on the 3G ipod. It had failed after 11 months, and I was given a brand new one as a replacement (supposedly). That one failed with the same problem, HDD completely froze, after 2 months and I was told I had 13 months of warranty and they would no longer replace the unit.

    I am looking at buying a Logic Board off ebay and replacing it. I am just wondering if anyone has any experience with that? They seem to be selling in the $300 range.
  9. cyber16 macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2013
    Apple very rarely offers system level component repairs on portables or anything for that matter, unless it's something like a optical drive, upper case keyboard or display, battery.
    I have yet to see any apple genius suggest a bad magsafe I/O board ;)
    I have seen many of them failed, most times it is due to some sort of spill.
    The logic boards many times survive and work again with a new magsafe i/o board and sometimes a new attached thin ribbon cable.

  10. sickofapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2014
    Ok thanks. I will have another technician look at it this week and suggest the bad magsafe I/O.

    Our local PA knows an unauthourised dealer who can replace the Logic Board for $200 to $230 (used one) but he will guarantee it for 6 months. Seems a lot better than the $570 (new) and 90 days warranty from the authourised Apple people. Looks like business is good.

    I didn't spill anything on the MBA. I am still very confused by the manner in which it died. Was just working away normally, had a youtube documentary on in the background, was lightly tapping my fingers along the side of the screen..........then blackness. Not a flicker, no spinning wheel, nothing. Black.
  11. zzzzzzz macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2014
    I'd try the magsafe board, and the used logic board option. New replacement parts/service from the apple store are a waste of money 100% of the time from the quote sheets I've seen.

    I think it's reasonable to be upset that the machine randomly died. In my experience the 2011/2012 MBAs are a waste of time (have owned) and are the duds in the lineup. The 2010 had far better graphics performance and it seems only the 2013 is finally slightly better - but still barely worth the upgrade except for battery life. I'm hoping 2014 will be a better year.

    These failures are common in other brands too, but like you, I for some reason expected Apple to be better - but I think the reality is they are not. So as with any other laptop, I think it's worth a) either getting the extended warranty, or b) selling just before one year is up and upgrading for minimal extra cost. Since consumers are crazy about Apple, option b) is more viable than with other brands.
  12. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    Just curious. Is there any possibility that logic board fails is because of heat? Sometimes heat is almost 90 degree Celsius which may shorten life of the board.
  13. JohnPhamlore macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    Even with Applecare there is no way I would go without multiple backups of data on an PC, Apple-made or not. Isn't that why Apple created Time Machine?
  14. shadowbird423 macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2009
    Chapel Hill
    1. OP, you should have backed up your machine regularly. Anyone's product can fail at anytime, Apple or not.

    2. Have your SSD removed so you can get the data off of it.

    I'm sorry you've had poor luck, but you're out of warranty. This is why extended warranties exist (and are overpriced, but that's another conversation).
  15. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    I don't know, but it seems to me you should definitely get a second opinion, it's quite possible these guys are trying to upsell you a more expensive repair, or they don't even know what the hell they're talking about!

    Also, were you running on battery power when it failed, or was it plugged into the charger?

    It sucks that your Mac broke down, but if you want to talk about failure rates, I remember reading an article in the New York Times a few years ago that exposed Dell's secret 80% failure rate (!) on some of their notebook computers, imagine...

    There is no mythical standard by which to judge Apple, you can only judge them by their competition in the marketplace. Does Acer or Toshiba make a better, more bulletproof laptop?

    Like the eloquent post above stated, AppleCare is a pretty good option when investing in a new computer for all of those reasons, and I've never been an extended-warranty kind of guy, believe me, but my personal reason why I chose to buy AppleCare for my 2012 MBA is "The Law of **** Happens". :)
  16. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    You have no one to blame about losing the data. I could be using any computer, PC or Mac, and it could instantly die. That is the reason why Time Machine is on a Mac: to prevent data loss in the event of failure. You have no course of action unless you retrieve the SSD.

    Granted, some companies have better track records than others. Apple tends to be greatly reliable and makes up for their mistakes (iMac hard drive, MacBook bottom case). You had two bad experiences with Apple, which no one can deny. However, you are expecting Apple to pay for a MacBook that has left the factory two years ago. I can tell you what laptops go through over the course of a week, let alone two years. We understand you are angry with Apple, but going searching for class action lawsuits is a bit extreme. You won't get very far to say the least unless you had a 2008 era MacBook Pro with a Nvidia graphics card.

    For laptops, get AppleCare. It isn't insurance by any means, but general use breaks laptops rather than a desktop sitting on a desk without moving all of its useful life.
  17. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    Welcome to the world of RAM being soldered to the motherboard in the pursuit of making the product thinner so more people buy it.

    Form over function is a cornerstone of Apple's product cycle.

    Which is being adopted en masse across the board. I opened up a cheap $350 POS pentium, win 7 laptop, standard size laptop, that had RAM soldered to the mainboard.

    Gotta love it.


    Repair of an air motherboard for $200-$230 is reasonable. Replacement is not. I'd be very wary abou that.
  18. Gman021 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    They replaced my components on my air.

    Clamshell screen
    SVC/AP/BT, 21B
    I/O ASSY
    Flex Cable
  19. Robert Davies macrumors 6502

    Robert Davies

    Jul 28, 2011
    People's Republic of Wrexham
    To the OP:

    This site has saved me more money than I care to imagine in Apple repairs and upgrades - If you can wield a screwdriver at all, it well worth a look.

    Indeed elsewhere on the site above is what kept my Blackbooks and Whitebooks running for six or so years.

    Just politely offering an alternate option.
  20. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Electronics sometimes fail. It happens.

    Look on the bright side. At least you're not dead or disease ridden (if you are in the latter department, I am sorry you have bigger problems than a broken Mac).

    Anyways this is why Apple sells AppleCare; it's to give their buyers a peace of mind. If you chose to buy it, it was a gamble you made. I have plenty of computers I've never the AppleCare I bought them with, but when I used them I knew there wasn't any more maintenance costs I had to concern myself with.
  21. sickofapple thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2014
    Your post is insulting. Is this Chinese humour? I should be happy I am not disease ridden and only that my computer broke completely after 2 years? What an idiotic statement. Seriously, you should apologize for your ignorant attitude towards people who may be suffering from a disease and using these forums.

    And I didn't gamble on not buying Apple Care. I think it is more than reasonable that one should expect a US$1300 MBA, or any laptop, to last 3 years under normal conditions. I have two windows laptops and they are working fine over the same period. And in fact, they are work PCs that are exposed to much harsher conditions then my home MBA. I bought a Compaq laptop in 2006 and it lasted into 2010 before the screen stopping working. The operation of the computer was fine though. So yeah, call me an idiot but I feel it is not acceptable for a company that purports to be the world leader in design and quality to have a product completely fried after just over 2 years.
  22. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Buy AppleCare next time.
  23. nebrot macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2011
    北京 (Beijing)
    Well, no. A notebook, little more than 2 years old should not fail like this. My 2011 Makbook Air failed last summer with camera, lightsensor and screen with just 100 battery cycles and less than 2 years old. I bought it in the US, which means it has just 1 year warranty. Since last summer I am in China and went to an Applestore there, but nothing they would do for free. In fact the repair was estimated about 450 USD since the whole screen and some internals would have to be replaced. That was and is rediculus... I asked a friend to help me check it in the states, there at least I was only charged 250 USD because they could see my Air was in top condition and the failure was internally. The informed me the screen cable was broken by opening & closing the lid, which I did like less than 500 times... I was really dissappointed at that time, but decided to go on with Apple. However, one more case like this and I will strongly think about buying more products. No device is supposed to fail after such a short time in such a serious manner.
  24. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Applecare would have resolved this for you. So many times I read on these boards that my this and that failed after the 1 year warranty and Apple will do nothing for me. That is your responsibility to extend the warranty on an expensive device.

    When I spend $3500 on an iMac or big money on any Apple device for that matter, I sure as hell am going to buy Applecare. I just do not want to take the chance of something such as your problem happening and then having to pay more to have it repaired. Apple did not screw you. Electronics fail. Applecare would have helped.

    I have only ever had the occasion to use Applecare once, but it paid for itself many times over. All my Apple products carry Applecare. Sorry if I sound harsh, but that is the reality of it.
  25. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Any electronic can fail. It isn't just Apple at all actually. Most manufacturers give you a 1-year warranty as they can guarantee that a majority of products won't have an issue within that time. They also know that the reliability is high enough where extended warranties are more money makers. If Apple did not think your MacBook could last three years, they would not allow for the warranty to be extended.

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