FAA bans 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros with defective batteries

After Apple notified its customers of potentially defective MacBook Pro batteries in June, the Federal Aviation Administration has banned all affected laptops from flying on U.S. airlines.

It’s currently unclear which U.S. airlines have been notified, but Bloomberg reported that four airlines — TUI Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy, and Air Transat — have already adhered to the ban earlier this week. It further noted that flight attendants would be making announcements for these laptops pre-boarding.

The issue stems from reports of a potential fire hazard caused by explosive batteries. According to Apple’s recall program, a number of 15-inch MacBook Pros produced between September 2015 to February 2017 may carry defective batteries that could catch on fire when they overheat.

In parallel to the recall, Apple has also promised to replace the batteries in affected models for free. MacBook Pro owners can check if they’re eligible for the program through Apple’s support page. The replacement could take up to 1-2 weeks to complete.

Although the batteries can be replaced, the FAA did not announce how it would differentiate between a defective model and one that’s been repaired.

The Apple battery fiasco is reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 battery mishap. The mistake took two recalls to fix and costed the company at least $5 billion.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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