Batteries can swell?

That was my first question after I searched for the cause of my troubles today. You see, this morning my keyboard and trackpad on my Macbook Pro started to respond strangely. Keys wouldn’t work and the trackpad was malfunctioning. Also, the button was strangley bowed up.

I hoped on my wifes computer (it being right next to me) and a quick Google search later, found the cause of it. Apparently, after a time, the batteries on MBP’s can swell. I though this was a joke. I mean swelling batteries?

Although I wasn’t laughing when i flipped over my laptop and took out the battery (which, after 2 years I have never done). The casing around it was peeling away, and the side that touches the keyboard connector was horribly bowed. I set it aside, plugged into the wall and restarted and now, thankfully, my system works normally.

However, one thing disturbs me. Firstly, the techs who replaced the screen a few weeks ago didn’t notice this. Not a huge deal, surely. But what I didnt know at the time is that when a battery swells like that, its nearing the end of its life and can, and there are many articles that document this, explode.

I asked the Apple support people this and they confirmed that, yes, a certain amount of time after the swelling starts, the battery can explode.

Um, what?

So here I am, with what amounts to a ticking timebomb sitting on my lap, wondering how the techs who worked on my system missed this. One of the guys said specifically that they inspected the entire system and it was fine. Obviously, this doesnt include a physical examination.

I will, however, be pointing this out to the tech when I go back in there tonight to get a new battery. Hopefully they will, in the future, look out for such things as I would think that replacing a few batteries is preferable to having a few dozen lawsuits against you from people with scorched laps and lost computers.

We’ll see. In the mean time, check your batteries people.


UPDATE: I took it in to the Apple store this evening and, not only did they get to me a half hour sooner than I thought, but they replaced the battery without question. He said that the old one was part of a bad batch that the manufacturer put out (metal shavings in the lith-ion cells). This is the third time that someone has told me that something on my laptop, my very expensive laptop, was part of a “bad batch”. If this happens again, I’m demanding that they give me a new MBP instead of constantly replacing dodgy hardware. Maybe it’ll work. – Thanks

UPDATE 2: My coworker (boss, really) just sent me a picture of this MBP. He started noticing funny things happening and took a look at the underside. His battery was swollen also (the plot thickens). The only difference was that his is REALLY swollen (like, its almost a sphere). It cant be part of the same “bad batch” as mine since he got his MBP almost a year before me, so something is definately fishy with Apple batteries.

Now my only concern is what happens if this battery issue arises in the new MBP’s? The ones without the removeable battery? Scary stuff, probably. – Cheers

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