New Macbook 12 inch - Swollen Battery

mokal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
9
2
Hi everyone,

I have a five month old Macbook 12 inch, with a swollen battery. Unfortunately quality control is not up to standard these days. I have had problems with loose iPhone screens and now this. Very disappointed.

I also wanted a replacement but that doesn't seem to be reasonable. Currently waiting for the spare part to arrive at the apple store so they can fix it. Couldn't find any other posts on the issue online. Anyone else had a similar issue?

Thanks. Picture attached below.

IMG_3773.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: arn

bhodinut

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2013
93
62
Hopefully the aluminum case hasn't yielded to the point where the bend will still show. If that's the case I'd insist on a replacement. Guess you'll have to wait and see how the repair comes out.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,150
341
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Couldn't find any other posts on the issue online.
Just to note, swelling is basically the standard mode of failure for LiIon batteries, so in a general sense if a battery in any Apple device fails, this is probably what's going to happen to it. I've personally seen MacBook Pro batteries fail this way, and you can find reports of iPhones, phones by other manufacturers, Macs of various size and vintage, laptops made by other companies, etc.

Since your device is pretty new, and I don't think there has been any unusual rate of battery failure due to a supplier issue, you have one of those random infant failures that just happen. Most likely the internal charge controller flaked out somehow and overcharged it.

Definitely make sure they repair it properly, though--the tolerances around the battery in MacBooks are extremely tight, so it would if anything be surprising if the battery swelling didn't cause any other damage.
 

double329

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2008
452
75
Woe... That looks nasty. The unit should still be under warranty. You know, sometime I couldn't stop wondering and worrying about charging any devices over night. I guess, it could happen to any devices.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2015
2,763
2,448
Land of Smiles
Always a pain when you are one of the <5% with a defective unit, hope it's sorted quickly as it' the inconvenience that's the real problem
 

east85

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,342
494
You tolerate a 5% defect rate?
You should see the defect rates on on Windows machines. Consumer reports surveyed thousands of consumers for an initial 3 year period of ownership, found that Apple products had the lowest failure rates at 3-7% while most windows machines were upwards of 10-15%, some even had 20% failure rates. While lower rates would be nicer, a 5% failure rate is phenomenal when considering the reality of this market segment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Samuelsan2001

burgman

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2013
1,971
1,378
Hi everyone,

I have a five month old Macbook 12 inch, with a swollen battery. Unfortunately quality control is not up to standard these days. I have had problems with loose iPhone screens and now this. Very disappointed.

I also wanted a replacement but that doesn't seem to be reasonable. Currently waiting for the spare part to arrive at the apple store so they can fix it. Couldn't find any other posts on the issue online. Anyone else had a similar issue?

Thanks. Picture attached below.

View attachment 608662
Did you notice it getting hot during your all day downloads you posted in another thread? It didn't happen overnight.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,150
341
The Cool Part of CA, USA
You should see the defect rates on on Windows machines. Consumer reports surveyed thousands of consumers for an initial 3 year period of ownership, found that Apple products had the lowest failure rates at 3-7% while most windows machines were upwards of 10-15%, some even had 20% failure rates. While lower rates would be nicer, a 5% failure rate is phenomenal when considering the reality of this market segment.
That's a failure rate for the initial 3 years of ownership, though.

Defect rate, at least to me, means DOA or infant failures (<30 days of use). Maybe you could also include violent failure like exploding batteries or internal fires, since it's not an expected mode of failure. All do happen, but can be minimized by pre-shipment testing and good manufacturing processes.

I have no idea what the infant failure rate of Macs or any other brand of computer is, but I'm fairly confident it's well under 5%. If 20% of the computers you shipped arrived DOA, you would be out of business based on returns and bad word-of-mouth alone. Even 3% seems pretty bad as a DOA rate--the QA in your factory would have to really suck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: east85

scaramoosh

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2014
574
571
Defect rate on Windows Machines is such a broad thing, most people buy cheap **** so it's obviously going to break.

So far I'm 3 for 3 with iPhone's, I'm 1/1 with the iPad and I'm 1/1 with my Macbook lol.


First two iPhones had faulty screens, my iPhone 6s has faulty Bluetooth which I have to get replaced but the store never has any slots open.

My iPad just died

My first Macbook had a defective battery.


The only good thing with Apple is if you go to their store, they just give you a new one and you're on your way within 20 mins. My Xbox One had a faulty fan, I sent it back to Microsoft 3 times, the fault was still there and then I just gave up and sold it on eBay. I don't buy from any one who doesn't have a policy where I cannot replace it in store, if it has to go be repaired... NOPE, I want a replacement unit that very same day. It's why I buy Apple products now, but sadly with every Apple product I've ever owned, I've had to do that lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mokal

scaramoosh

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2014
574
571
On the bright side, maybe there's more space for keyboard travel now? And another port?
That's so subjective though, I mean my friend who is a programmer says he loves the most minimal travel he can get. He hates Apple products though and will never ever buy one, but he tried my Macbook the other week and said the keyboard is amazing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mokal

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2015
2,763
2,448
Land of Smiles
That's a failure rate for the initial 3 years of ownership, though.

Defect rate, at least to me, means DOA or infant failures (<30 days of use). Maybe you could also include violent failure like exploding batteries or internal fires, since it's not an expected mode of failure. All do happen, but can be minimized by pre-shipment testing and good manufacturing processes.

I have no idea what the infant failure rate of Macs or any other brand of computer is, but I'm fairly confident it's well under 5%. If 20% of the computers you shipped arrived DOA, you would be out of business based on returns and bad word-of-mouth alone. Even 3% seems pretty bad as a DOA rate--the QA in your factory would have to really suck.
I think your on the right track it seems that the average return rate of consumer electronics (during the return period) is around 15-18% of which only 5% are found to be actually defective, so quite a small % of DOA or early real faults.

Long term defects 3-4 years seem as much as 20% so even if true for Apple at a high 1 in 5 Apple care would go a long way :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: mokal

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,150
341
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Boy we've gotten on a sidetrack with this topic.
I think your on the right track it seems that the average return rate of consumer electronics (during the return period) is around 15-18% of which only 5% are found to be actually defective, so quite a small % of DOA or early real faults.
Assuming your numbers are correct, that would point to a roughly 0.75-1% infant failure rate among consumer electronics in general, and I really wouldn't be surprised if it was even lower for big-ticket items like smartphones or computers that probably see more thorough factory testing.

The graph that east85 posted doesn't break out the first 30 days or DOA, but since the failure rate across the board is pretty similar between year 2 and year 3, you can be almost certain that the infant failures are greater than the year 1 failures minus the year 2 ones (since if it doesn't break right away, it should otherwise be more likely to last through the first year than the second).

Backblaze has a similar study, and much more rigorous because of the controlled real-world conditions and large sample size, for failures of hard drives: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/what-hard-drive-should-i-buy/

There's a survival rate graph partway down in which for WD in particular you can clearly see infant failures and the general failure trend. First there's a sudden survival drop of a few points (infant failures in the first month or so), then the line levels off for a couple of years, then starts dropping at an increasingly steep rate, as the drives wear out.

Bottom line being, if it survives the first 30 days or so, it's pretty likely to hold up for the next 1-3 years (depending on product type), at which point failure becomes increasingly more likely.

And coming back to Apple, that graph shows very clearly that Apple has extremely good infant failure rates--they ship very few products that are DOA or fail quickly as evidenced by the ~2% first-year failure rate versus every other company in the 8-10% range. Logically, that tells you that Apple's infant failure rate is extremely low (probably well under 1%), while everybody else's is probably in the 5-8% range. That actually seems surprisingly high to me, but I see no other way to read the graph.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mokal and burgman

mokal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
9
2
You can't have searched much then, since it has been a normal problem for more than 10 years, for lithium ion batteries.
Thanks for your reply, I meant on 5 month old MacBooks
[doublepost=1452122651][/doublepost]Thanks for all your replies everyone. They got the replacement part at my local Apple Store. It wasn't repairable because the logic board has been damaged. They have to send it off to get fixed.

I sort of calmed down about it when everyone said it happens to batteries. But this is unacceptable, personally this laptop to me is screwed. Regardless of all statistics, I'm very disappointed with Apple on this one. Store manager was adamant on a repair not replacement. A battery is always likened to car tires but the logic board?
[doublepost=1452122789][/doublepost]
Did you notice it getting hot during your all day downloads you posted in another thread? It didn't happen overnight.
No it wasn't getting hot and I don't leave it on for downloads at all.
 

scaramoosh

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2014
574
571
Thanks for your reply, I meant on 5 month old MacBooks
[doublepost=1452122651][/doublepost]Thanks for all your replies everyone. They got the replacement part at my local Apple Store. It wasn't repairable because the logic board has been damaged. They have to send it off to get fixed.

I sort of calmed down about it when everyone said it happens to batteries. But this is unacceptable, personally this laptop to me is screwed. Regardless of all statistics, I'm very disappointed with Apple on this one. Store manager was adamant on a repair not replacement. A battery is always likened to car tires but the logic board?
[doublepost=1452122789][/doublepost]

No it wasn't getting hot and I don't leave it on for downloads at all.
That sucks, I always get replacements when I go to the store here in the UK.
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
1,004
1,767
Interstellar
Thanks for your reply, I meant on 5 month old MacBooks
[doublepost=1452122651][/doublepost]Thanks for all your replies everyone. They got the replacement part at my local Apple Store. It wasn't repairable because the logic board has been damaged. They have to send it off to get fixed.

I sort of calmed down about it when everyone said it happens to batteries. But this is unacceptable, personally this laptop to me is screwed. Regardless of all statistics, I'm very disappointed with Apple on this one. Store manager was adamant on a repair not replacement. A battery is always likened to car tires but the logic board?
[doublepost=1452122789][/doublepost]

No it wasn't getting hot and I don't leave it on for downloads at all.
Call Applecare. Generally much better service than in-store.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,535
8,157
Colorado
My daughter's 13" MBP had this happen as well. Took it to our local Apple store and they fixed in a couple of hours. It stinks that they wouldn't just replace your Macbook @mokal
 

mokal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 10, 2007
9
2
Apple Care couldn't do anything. I give up. Apple have been good to me over the years, but it's unfortunate because all it takes is something like this and I switch allegiances.

It's been sent out for a logic board repair. Hope it works.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sunking101

east85

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,342
494
I'm guessing it's a full board swap rather than trying to patch the old one at least. Did the batteries swelling damage the board?