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Apple macbook air hinge defect -closing lid is considered accidental damage

186305 Views 190 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2013 8:07 AM by Jazznoob123 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • MtlChris Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I would keep insisting, trying to move up the decision channel, by taking it to the store manager in person and asking for customer service and then a supervisor on the phone. Be nice and polite to everyone, but don't let yourself be intimidated. You paid a important amount of money for the computer, you have the right to get it to work in perfect condition.
    MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • carl wolf Level 6 Level 6 (13,910 points)
    I believe that Apple's perspective is that a customer should return the computer when the hinge is "loose", rather than "living with it". Continuing to use the computer with a "loose hinge" is probably viewed as "abuse", and that's not covered by the warranty.
    I'm in "Shanghai", and I met Gong Li. Woohoo!!
  • Digoxin Calculating status...
    My MBA Rev A suffered the same fate. One day I heard a pop when opening the lid and then I realised that the left hand corner hinge had slipped. I could put it back in place by pushing really hard but it would recur when I opened it again. I use my laptop against the wall so there is no chance I could overextend the lid as the Genius that I saw initially suggested might have contributed to the problem.

    I got my MBA online through Apple Australia on the same day it was released. When I realised the machine had a serious fault I quickly panicked and remembered I was going to get Applecare but had not. My one year warranty was to expire that midnight and the hinge became an issue at 8pm that evening. Fortunately I was able to buy Applecare online and registered the machine in time.

    I made an appointment with the local Apple Store and had an appointment with the Genius Bar. The Genius was excellent and when I explained how it was unlikely I had overextended the screen(which he told me was a common cause for the hinge to fail) he authorised a repair under Applecare. I was shocked to find it would have costed me AUD800 because the whole LCD screen was replaced as part of the hinge.

    Most of the hinge faults have been on the side where the power cord attaches to and I wonder it is heat related.

    Further to the replacement of the hinge/LCD the trackpad/keyboard(intermittent freezing) started to play up after I took the MBA back from repairs. Long story short it took replacing the top case and the logic board to repair the problem. My MBA is almost new now with only the HD and power supply and bottom case not yet replaced. Applecare has saved my butt
    MBA Rev A 1.6, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Bernd Kulawik Calculating status...
    Mine just a few minutes ago broke, too, on the left hinge (that one close to power supply). The "nice" thing about it is that I got one of the first MBAs here in Switzerland 1 year and a few days ago ... so, the normal warranty is just over since 7-10 days or so. GREAT! (I never bought an extended warranty, because all my Power/MacBooks Pro since 2001 never showed any technical or hardware problem ... )
    So, just to let Apple know: Good "timing" with this problem - seems 95% of the users experienced this on the last days of their warranty or shortly after its expiration. And, of course: a problem that occurs in such numbers has to be a manufacturing problem and should therefore be solve regardless if the warranty is still valid or not.
    I'm sort of angry, but I hope I can get it fixed without paying half the cost of a new MBA for repair ...
    MacBook Air, 1st version (built March 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.6), hinge broken
  • Glorfindeal Level 6 Level 6 (9,330 points)
    Macbook 2.4 GHZ (4GB) late 2008, 30" Samsung 305T, Mac OS X (10.5.6), iPhone 3G 16GB White, iPod Nano 8GB, iPod Video 60GB
  • carl wolf Level 6 Level 6 (13,910 points)
    "So, just to let Apple know: Good "timing" with this problem - seems 95% of the users experienced this on the last days of their warranty or shortly after its expiration. And, of course: a problem that occurs in such numbers has to be a manufacturing problem and should therefore be solve regardless if the warranty is still valid or not."

    The "loose hinge" is a manufacturing problem, and it is covered by the warranty. Refusing to get the loose hinge repaired will cause the hinge to break, and that's accidental damage, caused by the user. So, in the future don't "live with a problem", or think that "the problem will go away" - get the problem fixed.
    I'm in "Shanghai", and I met Gong Li. Woohoo!!
  • Kelly Cruze Calculating status...
    Unlike some of the users whose hinges gave way, mine had no pre-break wobble. Last December, I set mine down (opened at a 90˚ angle) and heard a loud crack. The left hinge had a crack in it, and the screen opened to 180˚ but could still stay vertical at nearly every other angle. I brought it to the Genius Bar, and they tried to come up with other ways of describing the problem so that it would be covered under warranty and not be considered 'Accidental.' They deduced that in the end, it wouldn't be covered and would cost about $800 to repair. I left, emailed several fruitless emails to sjobs/stevejobs/admin/etc.

    I continued using my MBA with no problems. Then, in February, the other hinge finally gave way, and the display wouldn't stay up at any angle unless propped up against something. This time, I called Apple Care, and the customer service rep was pretty confident that it would be covered under warranty. Ultimately, it was! In my box, I included a print-out of another blog post that included about 50+ comments from users with the same problem.

    I'm not sure if it's because they've recently received an influx of similar problems, but my advice is:

    1. Go to the Genius Bar (provided you live near an Apple Store).
    2. If that fails, call Apple Care, and when you send your computer in, include a nice handwritten note and some print-outs that support your claim.

    Overall, Apple's customer service has maintained my confidence, but I hope, as others have mentioned, that we first-gen purchasers can get something in return (even something so simple as an acknowledgment of the hardware problem).
    Currently Using: iBook G4, Macbook Air, iPod Touch, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Jerry H. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    i recently bought my rev B MBA and i am crossing fingers not to have this hinge issue

    but in my own opinion, a laptop is not a disposable good and i never thought that i would pay 1800 bucks to have hinges breaking a few months later and to dump my MBA

    Apple should better cover all the MBA unless they are waiting for a class action in their face again

    i really think that's what would happen at the end

    i still have several months to go before purchasing an applecare to extend the warranty but i would expect Apple to face their responsibilities if my hinges break
  • Andrew Mcintosh1 Calculating status...
    Crack... so add me to the list of defective MacBook Air hinges. Mine is a Rev A bought about 1 month after introduction.

    There is no way in the world this is customer "accidental" damage, this is a design or manufacturing flaw plain and simple. My MBA is in perfect condition, the display has never been fully extended or the unit dropped... it's been a good unit until I heard a slight pop, then crack

    Now I have a slight bulge in the front RIGHT side, and it's popped out a bit on the back... I'm not going to push it back in since the display is staying up and don't want to make it worse.

    Okay, I have the advantage that I worked in Apple Customer Relations so the deal is, you'll need to get a case number started by calling them, so you'll probably have to talk to a tech support rep first... 1-800-767-2775 (USA) then you'll want to "escalate" to Customer Relations... you'll likely have to call 3 times before they will agree to fix it for free however*... just be firm, polite and you'll get further, faster than threatening a lawsuit or some such

    There is probably already a "silent recall*" on something like this since it's a design/manufacturing defect, but be prepared to be quite persistent until it is resolved. Apple will do the right thing, but it will take a bit of convincing.

    I'll try and follow up with an update. If you don't hear back, all is well, and the above method worked.
    128K Mac, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • carl wolf Level 6 Level 6 (13,910 points)
    The display was loose and, rather than getting it fixed immediately, you continued to use the MBA until a hinge broke. That doesn't read as if it's a "hinge" problem. It reads as a "user" problem.
    I'm in "Shanghai", and I met Gong Li. Woohoo!!
  • jlbrown23 Calculating status...
    Carl - you don't know what you are talking about, so spare me the strong opinions.

    MY Air hinges broke with NO WARNING. No play, no looseness. I was CLOSING my air, heard a "pop", and suddenly the lid to my Air was VERY lose. I put it down and immediately scheduled an appointment at the Genius Bar for the next day. When I got there they told me I tried to force the lid open, which is not true(I was closing it and was careful never to force it back to far). I always treated my Air carefully. I dared the guy to find one smudge or scratch, and he of course could not.

    It's a defect, plain and simple. You know nothing about it since it hasn't happened to you. I'm not sure why you feel a need to defend Apple - they are a great company, but they are just WRONG here.
    Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Bernd Kulawik Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi, just want to know you that I got my MBA repaired for free ... but only after I tried it a second time: First time, I was told by the Apple (phone) service, that the broken hinge is not covered by the warrantee ... even though I sent in pictures. Then I was away for two weeks (with a new-bought MBA - yes, I'm a MBA junky :-)) and called the service again when I came back: another person on the line - wanted new photos, sent me to the next repair contractor to have the problem checked there by a technician and ... then silence. On Thursday I was informed via SMS that the MBA was repaired for free (new Display included!) --- maybe it helped in this case that I bought Apple hardware for me, my family and my institution worth more than 20'000 Euros during the last 10 years :-))
    So, Apple managed to get another convinced customer back ... with 2 MBAs now. But I guess, I will find someone who will be glad with the old one
    MBA2,1 / 1.6GHz / HD, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • fedoraguy Calculating status...
    I found this specific topic when I began seriously researching the MacBook Air (MBA) as a computer for my use when I start college classes this year.

    I went to the product page at the website for the MBA and thought I'd ask one of their sales persons who would be available in their pre-sales chat sessions. I "spoke" (via text) with two different people. I asked them if hinge issues were resolved, and separately if MacBook Air Rev. B is being sold now by Apple. They said they did not know and recommended I contact Apple technical support and ask them.

    One of the articles in the links at the top of this topic mentions there's a MacBook Air Rev. A and MacBook Air Rev. B. *Apparently, (according to the source below) the MacBook Air Rev. B has a superior hinge.* I personally have not confirmed this, but am interested since I'm considering this. I may just buy a MacBook (MB) or MacBook Pro (MBP).

    I asked the second Apple person I chatted with at if they knew if the current MBA systems are "Version B". s-warranty/

    Does anyone know if the current MBA being sold by Apple is the MacBook Air Rev. A or the MacBook Air Rev. B? The MBA seems to have some good features, however I'd likely obtain 'more bang for my buck' with a MB OR MBP.


    Message was edited by: fedoraguy
    powerbook G4, 17", Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Ted Harper Calculating status...
    fedoraguy wrote:
    Does anyone know if the current MBA being sold by Apple is the MacBook Air Rev. A or the MacBook Air Rev. B?

    The MacBook Air models currently described on and specifically including the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chip is what you have seen described as "Rev. B". They are what you will get if you walk into an Apple Store (or the Apple website) and buy a Macbook Air today. NB: The refurbished shop, and possibly some Apple resellers, may have the first version available, but what Apple is selling today is definitely the version as described on that page.

    Basically what that product page describes as "now" or "new" is what is different between the initial (Rev A) and current (Rev B) revisions of the MacBook Air.
    Mac Mini, 24" iMac (2.16GHz C2D), MacBook (2.0GHz C2D) and MBP (2.53GHz), Mac OS X (10.5.6), N+B/G Airport WLANs, 3G iPhone, several iPods
  • fedoraguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Ted - for the prompt answer, now I get to mull over if to buy the MB, MBA or MBP...
    powerbook G4
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