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MacAir22 Level 1 (0 points)


I'm based in Dublin, Ireland and have a 1st Gen MacBookAir with an exploding/expanding battery. See attached pics below.  My warranty is expired but I've seen this issue listed in a number of other posts. Looks like a product defect that should be recalled. I was advised to remove it ASAP before it did further damage to the case and motherboard, or worse. Other than buying a new battery has anyone out there any advise on who in Apple  to contact  as my MacBookAir is out of warranty. Thanks




MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • SP Forsythe Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Your first line of contact should probably be the nearest Apple Store, if you have that luxury. At least then you have a physical appraisal of the situation for which Apple to make comment.


    I would ask what could you, as a user, reasonably done to avoid the issue. Either they will have an answer to that question, or not. If the have no reasonable prior course for action on your part, then it strengthens your case in asking for some relief in the cost of repair.


    I hope you will maintian this thread with information as you progress to resolution. I absolutely love my MBA, but I worry about your situation, because it doesn't seem isolated.

  • MacAir22 Level 1 (0 points)


    Just an updated photo of what the battery looks like now ..!

  • Barnacle Level 1 (10 points)

    Can you update the post with how you got on? My MBA has just done the same thing. I would be keen to see if it was a free replacement.

  • MacAir22 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I have a case open with Apple so I'll let you all know the outcome. Hopefully Apple will recognise that this is a pretty serious issue.

  • MacAir22 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi All, heres an update - Apple support have refused to provide any assistance, simply stating that the MacBookAir is out of warranty. They just said this behaviour (rapid expansion of a battery) "can be expected" in some cases.


    I could understand if they gave me a genuine reason to not help but I was pretty shocked to essentially be told that I'm amoung a group of unlucky MacBookAir owners that will one day find their laptop swell up and destroy itself.


    The fact that the MacBookAir uses an internal battery in a slimline aluminum case and that a rapidly expanding battery poses a serious risk didnt seem to make any difference to the agent I spoke with.


    There is apparently some "Swollen Battery Service  Program" that Apple have but said the  MacBookAir  is not applicable.


    I dont know if this is also a problem with the 2nd Gen MacBookAirs but all I can say is that if it happens to you and you are out of warranty, Apple dont want to know about it...

  • blufin1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the exact same issue like MacAir22. I went to the Apple store with my 1st gen 2008 Macbook Air and they were very good about it. I was surprised they did not even charge me and are fixing it. It will take 5 - 7 days though.

    Good Luck.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,225 points)

    Here on this site you'll find contact numbers & addresses. I'd suggest that you contact customer support in the US. Apple's European branches seem to be much more autocratic - we can't help you - than here in the US.

  • SP Forsythe Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Did you press the representative for outlining a scenario for which the user could have possibly contributed to the battery's demise?


    Or, was it pointed out to you that there is any documented directive from Apple that a prophylactic replacement of the battery should be implemented at a given interval?


    I fount eh following article regarding lithium batteries, and possible causes for swelling, and I though the article was particularly relevant.


    It would seem that a possible explanation of a cause is overcharging. If indeed true, then the only apparent safeguard against this would be a working functional SMC. Unless the battery itself has a safeguard, which could have failed as well. Presuming that the SMC is reset with the installation of a new battery, such evidence of it's cause would then be moot, as a reset would likely resume normal operation.


    Just food for thought.


    Apple's silence on the cause and effect here is probably the biggest problem. As they are in a far better position to nail down the cause, and an effective prevention remedy.

  • MacAir22 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all your feedback.

    Technically I dont know why this issue has occured, in my opinion its a hardware fault with the battery or it associated components, this could be a product design or manufacture fault.

    I never over or under charge the battery, and would be a moderate user of the laptop.  


    My frustration here is Apples complete lack of understanding of the severity of the issue, and the automatic response I recieved. The simple fact that as the laptop is a MacBook Air and has the battery integrated internally the damage that can be caused to the other components (case , motherboard) by an expanding battery is pretty obvious. If it was a MacBook  Pro for example (with an external battery), then the damage may not be as severe.


    I dont know why Apple Europe(Ireland) support have refused to take this as an out of warranty case, I explained in detail the severity of the issue. Perhaps as one of the previous posts mentions Apple Support USA would have been more understanding.

  • VirtualXistance Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same issue showing up on one of the MacBook Air's we have.


    This expansion is not a new thing in the Apple world and we have already seen atleast 20-30 of our MacBook Pro's show the same issue. (All Except unibody Model's so far) and all Apple says is it's expected and we cannot replace batteries. (This was also the case with systems still under warranty) eventually we had to buy batteries for those


    Fortunately or Unfortunately, we have to use Mac's at our work place, but realistically, this is a problem and Apple should address it. In my 15+ years of experience in the industry, i have hardly seen maybe 1-2 PC's that may have depicted this kind of a problem.


    My main concern is that with the Unibody systems, this is a major issue, and i wont be surprised if the iPads also start showing this problem in the coming time. That would be bad!

  • itaub Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same thing happen to my 1st gen Macbook air. I was told that it is not the users fault but that it happens occationally when the battery has exceeded its life expectancy. It is not normal.

  • ezollars Level 2 (255 points)

    I had the issue on a MacBook Pro and my local Apple Store replaced the battery, no questions asked.  The machine was under Applecare.


    That said, there is an expected end of life for a battery and I suppose it might have been different if the battery had been past its expected end of life in term of cycles (mine wasn't) since my first generation unibody was the last with a replacable battery. 

  • AMCSport Level 1 (0 points)

    Same thing just happened to mine. I will push this as far as I can with Apple in sweden.

  • Dantestillcries Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here guys.  Went to the genius bar yesterday and they were charging me $130 to change the battery. I would understand the battery going dead sooner or later.  But not this bulging/expanding effect on the body itself.  Right now by MBA is fully working considering theirs an awkward bulge on the keyboard.


    Something like this should be considered as a manufacturing defect and we should at least get a free fix.  And a recall for all the first gen macbook air.  I love my MBA I just hope it doesn't blow up in my face as I'm writing this post!


    Let's keep this post rollin.

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