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Apple Sued Over MagSafe MacBook Adapters

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 30 comments

Apple is at the center of another class action lawsuit regarding the MagSafe connectors on its laptop adapters.

The MagSafe, long hailed for its design which helps prevent accidents when users trip over or catch the cable on something, is being targeted by users who complain Apple has been negligent when it comes to adapter design.

Ars Technica today reports that a complaint filed last Friday in California Northern District Court's San Jose office alleges that the MagSafe power adapter is prone to frayed wires and overheating, and as a result represents a fire hazard.

The complaint apparently accuses Apple of being negligent in the design of the power adapter, claims violations of various consumer warranty laws and alleges that Apple "has not taken action to remedy the defects." That said, it also notes in brackets that they’re not quite sure if that last part is true. Seems like a pretty important fact you’d want to check out, but who are we to tell them what boxes to tick before filing a legal complaint?

Ars points out that Apple acknowledged a problem with strain relief near the MagSafe connector last year and said that users "may be eligible for a replacement adapter free of charge provided there are no signs of accidental damage" even if the adapter is out of warranty.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    tenor77 , May 6, 2009 5:26 PM
    In related news several posts mysteriously disappear from Apples forums.
  • 13 Hide
    nekatreven , May 6, 2009 6:03 PM
    Apple: "But our power adapters are so pretty and, they have magnets! Who cares if they catch you on fire?! ...Steve wouldn't care!"
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    tenor77 , May 6, 2009 5:26 PM
    In related news several posts mysteriously disappear from Apples forums.
  • Display all 30 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    nekatreven , May 6, 2009 6:03 PM
    Apple: "But our power adapters are so pretty and, they have magnets! Who cares if they catch you on fire?! ...Steve wouldn't care!"
  • 0 Hide
    IzzyCraft , May 6, 2009 6:07 PM
    Aww and that's one of the few things i liked on mac laptops figures apple...
  • 9 Hide
    hellwig , May 6, 2009 6:11 PM
    MustWarnOthersHi,I'm a sleazebag/sleazebag company looking for a chunk of wealth for no other reason than that I know the average dumbass jury will hand it over.Though this raises insurance rates and limits growth, I believe I should be entitled to that which I have not earned.

    While I agree frivalous lawsuits are the new gold rush for the lazy and morally reprehensible, I also know Apple is horrible with its product quality.

    How many screens have they thrown at customers with serious display issues? How many batteries have they sealed in their products that barely make it past the 1-year warranty (and thus require expensive work to replace)? Apple may be known for its software quality and hardware style, but as far as hardware quality goes, they are pretty sub-par. No doubt there may be some legitamacy to this lawsuit afterall. Sadly though, any money that is collected will go straight into the greedy lawfirms pockets.
  • 3 Hide
    maigo , May 6, 2009 6:30 PM
    Oh wow, and here I was expecting a new patent infringement suit
  • -5 Hide
    dtemple , May 6, 2009 7:03 PM
    Thanks for the interesting article Jane! Personally I find all power adapters have wiring prone to fraying. I've seen dozens of power adapters with the wiring right after the plug being worn... just from normal use. Seems people are just sue-happy to get the money Apple has... hehe.
  • 0 Hide
    B-Unit , May 6, 2009 7:27 PM
    But it just works, right?
  • 8 Hide
    CChick , May 6, 2009 7:35 PM
    Software Quality ? WHAT Software quality ?

    garbage OS? Cant even code its own kernel ? Piece of $hit security and lie to everybody ?
  • 0 Hide
    dman3k , May 6, 2009 7:41 PM
    Apple says that they want their customer to buy brand new laptops or handhelds before any of the problems ever happen.

    Hey, look, I'm a Mac, and I'm slick and cool! You must upgrade and buy me now!
  • -1 Hide
    cruiseoveride , May 6, 2009 8:07 PM
    In real life Mac would be a quadriplegic, unable to do anything "normal" PCs can do.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , May 6, 2009 8:18 PM
    This is actually a bit amusing! The ONLY thing I like about apple is that connector. And now it turns out that the only thing they did right is wrong .... lol
  • 5 Hide
    doomhammr , May 6, 2009 8:20 PM
    tenor77In related news several posts mysteriously disappear from Apples forums.


    Apple loves sweeping their mistakes under the rug.
  • 1 Hide
    the_one111 , May 6, 2009 8:51 PM
    doomhammrApple loves sweeping their mistakes under the rug.

    What else can you do when your the worst corporation in your market?
  • -9 Hide
    hellwig , May 6, 2009 9:17 PM
    CChickSoftware Quality ? WHAT Software quality ?garbage OS? Cant even code its own kernel ? Piece of $hit security and lie to everybody ?

    I should have said software useability. Apple owners (iPhone/iPod/iMac/MacBook/etc) seem to like their software.
  • -1 Hide
    deltatux , May 6, 2009 9:19 PM
    this issue was resolved last year, so why the lawsuit, makes no sense to me. My MagSafe is fine here.
  • 0 Hide
    scryer_360 , May 6, 2009 10:17 PM
    So they are suing the best adapter in the industry for something they aren't quite sure about?

    Only in America.
  • 1 Hide
    geoffs , May 6, 2009 10:50 PM
    I've seen power cord fraying problems on laptop AC adapters from Dell, HP/CPQ, Apple, IBM/Lenovo, Toshiba, and Sony, and those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I've also seen it on AC adapters for Wi-Fi routers, modems (phone, DSL, and cable), ink-jet printers, routers/firewalls, cell-phones, etc. from dozens of manufacturers. This is an industry-wide issue, not anything specific to Apple, and I can't say it's significantly more likely on any one brand.

    In 15 years of owing Mac laptops none of my Apple AC adapters have ever frayed or failed. One was recalled and replaced due to a potential fire hazard (not fraying related). MagSafe is the best laptop power connection yet put on the market, but like virtually every other adapter for portable devices, the thin DC cord is subject to fraying if you routinely stress it.
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , May 6, 2009 11:31 PM
    I wish there was some magsafe-like adapter for windows laptops, minus the fire thing.
  • 1 Hide
    systemshock869 , May 7, 2009 3:39 AM
    You people really think this is a viable lawsuit? I'm no Mac guy by the way, but this sounds like some money grubbing scumbags trying to get a few bucks from Apple. First, they don't even know if what they are accusing Apple of is true, and secondly, Apple has offered to give out free replacements! Come on people..
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