Two months ago, Apple issued a worldwide voluntary recall for the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina from mid-2015. The recall was made because the battery on these units may overheat and become a safety hazard. And it’s enough of a potential hazard that US and European aviation authorities are taking extra precautions against it.
Specifically, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is banning the recalled MacBook Pros from being taken onboard airplanes. An FAA spokesperson said that this is not something that’s out of the ordinary, and that any device with a recalled lithium-ion battery is not allowed on airplanes. The FAA also issued a statement to The Verge, which reads:
The FAA is aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops. In early July, we alerted airlines about the recall, and we informed the public. We issued reminders to continue to follow instructions about recalls outlined in the 2016 FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 16011, and provided information provided to the public on FAA’s Packsafe website: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/
Of course, it remains to be seen if this is actually enforceable. After all, not all 15-inch MacBook Pros of 2015 are actually affected. And checking each one for its serial number sounds like an unrealistic endeavour.
On the other hand, the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is still allowing the affected MacBook Pros on board. This is, of course, under the condition that they are never turned on or plugged in while in flight. Compared to the US FAA’s stance, this sounds quite lenient in comparison.
So, if you happen to own a 15-inch MacBook Pro from back in 2015, there’s more reason than ever before to check if your laptop is affected by the recall. And if it is, there’s no reason to not get its battery replaced.