Apple Settles MagSafe Class Action Suit

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Apple has reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit involving its MagSafe power adapters for MacBook and MacBook Pro. The terms of the settlement include Apple offering partial refunds to customers who were forced to replace their MagSafe connectors due to “Strain Relief Damage” during the first, second, or third year of owning their MacBook or MacBook Pro.

The company will refund up to $79 for customers who replaced their adapter in the first year of ownership, up to $50 for the second year, or up to $35 for the third.

The suit was over the “T” connectors used on the original MagSafe adapter, which uses magnetism to secure the connector in place. It was a major innovation intended to reduce damage to Apple’s laptops when the cord gets violently wrenched from the device (say from a kick or a fall). Because the seal is magnetic, and not mechanical, the cords would simply detach when under undue force.

The problem is that the cord itself was subject to stress near the point of the connector, as shown in the image below.

Example of a “T” style MPM MagSafe Adapter which exhibits a strain relief issue

Apple replaced the above “T” connector with an “L” connectors, as seen in the image below because of the problems that sparked the class action lawsuit.

“L” style MagSafe connector

Apple has posted a document titled Apple Portables: Troubleshooting MagSafe adapters to help you figure out what’s what, and the company has another document titled, About Apple’s Adapter Replacement Program for the company’s ongoing replacement program, which remains in pace.

The company has also sent out notifications to customers affected by the class action settlement. There’s also a site dedicated to the settlement with more information. Customers have until March 21st, 2012, or three years from the purchase of their affected MacBook or MacBook Pro, whichever is later, to file for a cash payment. The site also has a claim form request page.

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While Apple according to some may “have screwed the canine” on the design of the original MagSafe Connector, I still have the original MagSafe Charger that came with my Late ‘08 MacBook Pro, and it’s in excellent condition & working order.

Mind you I always grasp the actual connector to remove it from the MacBook Pro, and NEVER pull on the cable to separate the two.

I’ve seen way too many chargers with cable damage because their owners yank on the cable to separate the two, especially the older iBook G3/G4 machines. (And they didn’t come with the MagSafe connector)

Folks just have to learn to treat their electronics/cables/chargers with more care.


I have to agree with furbies.
This country is going to hell because a bunch of weak-ass people are too dumb to take care of their equipment and jump on the bandwagon driven by money-hungry lawyers. Who wins? The lawyers, only the lawyers.
The rest of us lose because companies like Apple have to spend time and money worrying about this crap instead of moving on to better things. ( I’m not saying I haven’t been pissed at Apple occasionally)

Every time I get a letter or email from a class action suit I write to the law firm responsible and tell them to suck it. I want no part of it. If I’m stupid enough to pay good money for a bad design well then I learned a lesson.

All my magsafe adapters are in perfect shape and have worked well for years. I am a freelancer and travel with my macs constantly.


Actually, this country has GONE to hell and your response here illustrates that quite nicely - It seems everybody has become an expert at basing the functionality of the universe on a handful of personally witnessed events.

There IS a flaw in the design of of the adaptor. It does not hold up well under the temperatures generated by the device. It’s actual physics and science. Don’t take my word for it though, google it or something. I’ll bet You’d find no shortage of photos of adapters that have discolored and even melted completely due to the inability of of the material used to withstand the heat the the strain relief areas.

Or, and this is what I’d do if I was teaching a class of 4th graders, charge up your Macbook and feel how hot and “melty” the plastic gets at the strain reliefs. Also note how you can often detect a hint of “melty” plastic there. Imagine that heat on a daily basis. Then ponder what would happen if the plastic used in those areas wasn’t spec’d hearty enough to withstand this heat?

I am a freelancer and I like cats.

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