Out of warranty swollen battery

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mosx, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Has anyone had any luck getting Apple to replace out of warranty batteries that are swelling?

    I have a 2008 aluminum MacBook. Battery only has 170 cycles. Health is 96%. I noticed recently that, when using the system, it'd die at 8%. Just shut off. No warning or anything. I did an SMC reset, PRAM reset. Reinstalled Snow Leopard. Nothing changed. Didn't think much of it. Grabbed my system today and noticed the bottom casing was all uneven. I flipped the switch and took the one piece of the case off and noticed the battery was higher than it should be. Took it out and set it on the table and, sure enough, it wobbles all over the place.

    I took some video and pictures with my iPhone 4 and emailed it to the woman who helped me earlier this year when the SuperDrive firmware update killed my DVD writer. Hopefully they'll do something about it. Battery is too young with too little use to be swelling like that.

    Gonna have to use my PC for the next few days until this gets taken care of.
  2. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Talk the laptop to a genius bar at an Apple store.

    I did this with my Macbook. It had about 220 cycles on the battery & the battery was dead.
    They replace it at no charge.
  3. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Yup, it's a known defect. As are bulging batteries, cracking plastic, and fraying power cords.
  4. mosx thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Hmm I'll have to take it in then. I'll wait for a call back from her first. Thankfully I have two computers and my iPad, so it's not entirely urgent.

    Battery still holds a charge. But it dies at 8%. Just shuts off without warning. It takes longer to charge these days and loses its charge a lot faster. Even though software reports "Normal" health condition, and I've done all the usual resetting and all that junk.

    And its noticeably bulging. It wobbles all over the place if I take it out and set it on a flat surface. And it makes the case noticeably uneven and "open" as well.
  5. mosx thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Got a call from Apple's "Executive Relations" today. Was told the battery was too far out of warranty and fed some BS about how batteries swell when "they're depleted" even though it still holds a 4+ hour charge. It's just a design defect and a fire hazard.

    Will try sjobs@apple.com again and point out their previous battery recalls due to swelling batteries catching on fire.
  6. Covart Guest

    Aug 15, 2010
    DO NOT leave that battery in your Macbook. The more it swells, the more pressure it places on the trackpad components. You are out of warranty, so you don't want to add another potential issue.

    And I ran into the same issue you are having right now, which is why I am suggesting you pull the battery now.
  7. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Had the same issue with my unibody macbook from Oct 2008. I brought it into an Apple Store a couple months ago and they replaced it for no charge, even without Applecare. Usually you'll have more luck in person with these things than over the phone. Helps to be courteous!

    Best of luck with yours, OP.
  8. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    Dude that doesn't sound like fun at all. I've heard of the batteries in '08 books failing, swelling, and all that good stuff. I hope you guys get your stuff figured out with your MacBooks. I hope the '09 models don't end up having the same problem too...
  9. mosx thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Yeah I took the battery out the instant I noticed it was swollen. Because its a fire hazard if you let it keep getting used. The last thing I need is for it to swell to the point of rupture so oxygen can mix with the internal chemicals and catch fire. I did put it back in for about 5 minutes just take screenshots of System Information to show that the battery is far from depleted as the woman I spoke to claimed it was.

    The more I read about it, the more it seems like its a common problem. You'd think with Apple's past experience with battery issues they'd be more willing to take care of their customers. Especially in situations where their products pose a fire risk.

    The closest Apple Store is too far of a drive to make an appointment and go in without guaranteed results. So all I can really do is deal with Apple's "Executive" relations.
  10. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    Maybe you should use it and hope it catches fire. You will get a new MacBook, and a new battery. I can't believe they lied and said the batteries swell when they are depleted. I've never had a depleted notebook battery swell. What about the new unibody MacBooks and MacBook Pros? When the battery swells, its going to cause some damage.
  11. mosx thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Heh yeah. This guarantees I won't be buying another Apple notebook.

    We'll see what happens. Tomorrow is Monday after all. I should be getting some sort of call from Apple since I emailed sjobs@apple.com again, reminding them of their previous recalls of swollen batteries due to it being a fire hazard. I also took screens showing the battery is far from "depleted".
  12. mosx thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    Emailed Apple again. Haven't heard back form them yet.

    Since the battery is NOT depleted, not even close, and would still be covered under Apple's terms if I had AppleCare, I think I'll be reporting them to the state attorney general's office as well as the FTC. This is a fire hazard. It's a dangerous product. And they're essentially using lies to not do anything about it.
  13. warrmr macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2010
    From reading peoples experiances on here you dont get much luck with phone support unless you have apple care or a warentee. They pretty much deny service unless you pay for it.

    It will pay to go and book and appointment with a genius as they are genrally more sympathetic.
  14. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    They didn't replace my out of warranty battery either.
  15. robincard macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2009
    I have this exact problem but with a macbook early 2009. Wonder how much luck I would get taking it to the genius bar..hmmmm...
  16. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    They replaced my daughter's late '07 BlackBook hard disk AND swollen battery last night, no Apple Care, but no charge. She didn't even know there was a problem with the battery, the Genius just fixed it. I love Apple.
  17. Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    The battery on my September 2005 Macbook is also swollen. The funny thing-this battery was a replacement battery that Apple sent to me after the original battery on my Macbook died (way) prematurely.
  18. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    Can't hurt to take it in to a Genius. You might get lucky.
  19. mattyu007 macrumors regular


    Jan 29, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Too bad I wasn't one of the lucky ones.. I have a Mid 2007 white macbook, but I had to pay for my new battery (C$133.34) :(

    Is there anyone I could contact that could maybe get me some sort of refund or something? (seeing as there are so many people that have gotten free replacements)
  20. carroll777 macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2010
    paid for the 1st replacment, got the 2nd free - but had to work for it!

    My battery swelled in my black macbook - could not use track paid, obviously defected, but out of warranty, so I had to buy a new one, the new one went bad after 7 months, also out of warranty - apple wanted me to pay for another new one - I was complaining on FB when a few friends said they all got free batteries well after the warranty in the US. I am in Malaysia. One even 4 years old!

    I called apple care, three calls, on hold for 20 minutes + - I finally got a new one - 3 month warranty though. Sucks if you ask me, poor service in Asia!

    Some say it depends on what apple store you buy from in Asia - I guess Machines in te Mid Valley will go to bat for you. The store, SMACK in Bangsar Village was not helpful at all.
  21. alfmil macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2009
    I just got a free battery from the Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo. Took my Aluminum Macbook in and told them it is way out of warranty (bought Oct 2008) but the battery with 55 cycles was swelling and I was wondering if they could help me out. Maybe it was because I have never had a problem with the computer, or they were out of stock, but the Genius said I'll go ahead and give you a free replacement this time, if you can come back and pick it up. I said no problem and thank you very much!

    Contrast Apple's customer service with Campagnolo - my shifter broke 1.5 years into a 3 year warranty and Campagnolo Japan says warranty, what is a warranty? Despite the pamphlet they include saying there is a 3 year warranty.
  22. nuwonda macrumors newbie


    May 30, 2008
    Genius Bar Apple Staff just explained to me that "swelling" is normal for a battery that reached its life cycle end. He was not aware of any replacement program for macbook batteries and only after I linked him them Apple Website about the battery problem (http://www.apple.com/support/macbook_macbookpro/batteryupdate/) did he know but since the article only mentions 2006/2007 models and mine is an "early 2008" model, the program would not apply to mine and there is nothing he could do. Granted if the battery would just be dead, I would not be here and just live with it, however now knowing that that thing could have exploded anytime under my hands is not quite so "normal" for me and even though warranty has expired and even though the article only mentions 2006/2007 macbook and macbook pro models it seems to me it also applies to 2008 models and as such should be replaced by Apple no matter what.
  23. Deamos macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2009
    Well. I had this problem earlier this month as well. My laptop being a 2008 Macbook, I spoke to Apple Customer Relations which approved the battery swap after a "Genius" visually inspected the battery. You might want to try that approach. Use words like "defect" and "safety" to Customer Relations and mention that the battery is still holding charges. Also, does the battery have problems going back in to the Macbook, or cause problems w/ the trackpad? If so, they owe you a battery.
  24. nuwonda, Jan 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011

    nuwonda macrumors newbie


    May 30, 2008
    I will call CR for sure and I told them in the shop also that I will try again. The battery is completely bloated the inner casing is no longer in place and fell off. The battery still holds charges though and was working in its bloated state but for obvious security concerns I removed it and it will only fit back in place if I forcibly push it.

    I probably wouldn't mind a dead battery after this time but this? And to tell me it is normal??? Duh? So it's normal to expect a battery driven Apple device to explode under your hands at any given time then and it is also normal to throw away your battery after 2 years or whenever the swelling occurs? OK, so the swelling is apparently a required chemical reaction in order to prevent explosion? Can anyone confirm or explain this further?

    In any case, a 2 year life cycle for a battery driven Apple product sic MacBook seems awfully short and not very competitive to say the least, not talking about the price.

    edit: on the phone with CR, they tell me i can buy a new one... no replacement since the notebook wasn't damaged and the battery is just swollen which is to prevent explosion. I can buy a refurbished one for 104 € though!!! Hooray!
  25. fbs1992 macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2010
    I was in the same boat recently and ended up being able to get my battery replaced. I had to go to more than one apple store but fortunately I live close to a few. The first store I went to the genius tried to bs me and say that the battery was swelling because the computer was always plugged in. I didn't feel like causing a scene at the time so I went to the other apple store and got it replaced no questions asked.

    Even if the store is a bit of a trip I would recommend making the trip cause that's where you will have your best luck

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