If you bought a 15-inch MacBook Pro a few years ago, it could be a fire hazard. Apple has issued a recall for “a limited number” of laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017 due to overheating batteries and is offering free battery replacements for affected customers.
To check if your MacBook is part of the recall, look up your serial number from “About this Mac” under the Apple menu, then enter it into Apple’s recall page. Apple says affected users should stop using their laptops immediately (but also perhaps back up their data first), then arrange for a repair in stores or by mail. In both cases, users should expect to be without their MacBooks for a week or two.
Apple isn’t the only laptop maker that has dealt with hazardous lithium-ion batteries lately. In March, HP recalled about 78,500 notebooks over potential fire hazards, expanding on an earlier recall that covered about 50,000 laptops. Sony and Toshiba also issued recalls on various laptops in 2017, as did Fujitsu in 2018.
Such are the risks of densely packing a battery with flammable liquid electrolytes, but as of now, no superior technologies exist to meet our ever-increasing demands for portable computing.