MacBook burns, user says battery not part of '06 recall

'We were damn lucky not to have a house burnt to the ground,' says owner

An Australian MacBook user reported Monday that his Apple laptop burst into flames, apparently because of a bad battery. He said that the laptop battery had not been on last year's recall list.

According to an account posted to the MacTalk forum by MacBook owner identified as mattyb, the laptop was charging when his housemate woke him after hearing the computer hiss and seeing smoke pour from the device.

"At first I thought that the lamp had fallen and set fire to the curtain," mattyb wrote. "As I got closer, I realized it was my [MacBook] ... burning! I picked it up and blew on it and swung it around to put the flames out. The bookshelf it was sitting on was burnt and there were a couple of magazines that were on fire too."

After putting out the fire, mattyb noted that the laptop's battery was swollen and burnt, "so it's definitely the battery that exploded and caught fire. The MacBook is melted on the bottom and severely charred."

In an update later, the laptop owner said that local Apple representatives had told him they would come to his house to collect the damaged unit, replace it and might compensate him for property damage. "Strange thing is, there was no symptoms like excessive heat or deformation of the battery or anything like that at all," mattyb said. "I also checked quite a while ago to see if my battery was one of the recall units. It was not."

Last August, Apple recalled 1.8 million lithium-ion batteries made by Sony. Just days before that, Dell had recalled 4.1 million Sony laptop batteries because of concerns they might overheat. Several other laptop makers later joined in with their own recalls.

"We were damn lucky not to have a house burnt to the ground," mattyb said. "I have been out for most of the weekend and this night was the only night I had it charging."

Apple officials did not respond to a call for comment.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?