Apple on Friday announced a worldwide replacement program for a limited number of USB-C charging cables that were shipped with 12-inch MacBook with retina display units or sold separately through June of 2015. A design flaw in these cables may cause unexpected premature failure.
As a part of the program, anyone with an affected cable is eligible to gain a free replacement through Apple.
Apple’s USB-C replacement program goes live
According to Apple’s USB-C replacement program page, which was first pointed out by our friends at MacRumors, cables affected by the design flaw may exhibit issues with charging your retina MacBook, such as intermittent charging of the machine while the cable is connected to a power source, or the MacBook failing to charge at all while the cable is connected to a power source.
The replacements that Apple will be giving to affected customers will be redesigned and should not exhibit the same charging issues as the faulty models did.
Apple also makes very clear on the program page that the problem doesn’t just affect those who bought a retina MacBook with the USB-C cables bundled in the box, but it also may affect people who bought a standalone USB-C cable accessory. For this reason, it’s important to know how to find out if your cable is included in the recall or not.
How to tell if your USB-C cable is affected
The USB-C replacement program only applies to units known to be affected by the manufacturer’s defect. As Apple points out on the replacement program page, there is an easy way to tell whether your USB-C cable is affected or not.
All USB-C cables will say “Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China” on them, but only cables affected by the design flaw will lack the serial number information after the word “China,” as shown below:
If your USB-C cable has a serial number after the word “China,” then your USB-C cable is not covered under this recall and it is not affected by the manufacturer defect.
How to apply for the replacement
Apple notes that for anyone who provided their shipping information during an online Apple Store purchase, or after registering their product online, a replacement USB-C cable will be automatically shipped to that same address before the end of February 2016. Everyone else will need to either visit a local Apple Store, visit a local Apple authorized service provider, or will need to contact Apple support directly to see what other options are available.
If Apple doesn’t already have your address on file, then the company recommends setting up a Genius Bar appointment at your local Apple Store, as this will be the most hassle-free option available. Only if you don’t have one around you locally should you explore the other potential options.
Anyone who believes they have an affected USB-C cable has until June 8, 2018 to take advantage of this replacement program before Apple will no longer honor it.
Are you affected by the recall? Share in the comments.