Recalls due to battery issues are nothing new in the laptop world. Bad batteries have overheated and caused fires multiple times over the years in different notebook brands, as well as cellphones of course. This week, Apple issued a recall on certain MacBook Pro laptops due to a fire risk associated with the battery. The machines were specific versions of the 15-inch MacBook Pro from the mid-2015 era.
The company notes on its support site that, "Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk." Apple is taking the fire risk seriously and is advising anyone who owns a machine covered by the recall to stop using it and reach out to Apple support immediately. That said, Apple wasn't very detailed on how owners of 15-inch mid-2015 MacBook Pro notebooks could figure out if the recall covered their machine.
The first step to figuring out if a machine is recalled is to find the serial number, which can be found in several locations. The easiest way to get the serial number is to look at the bottom of the laptop and get it from there. Users can also open the System Information app, or look in the Apple menu under "About This Mac." Owners who still have the original box the Mac came in can get the serial number from near the barcode as well.
Once you have your serial number, hop over to the Apple Support page for the recall, type or paste in your serial number and click submit. If your machine is covered in the recall, it can be mailed in for the free battery replacement via Apple Support. Apple says back up all your data and be prepared to be without your machine for up to two weeks. Alternatively, you can take it to the nearest Apple Store or an authorized Apple service provider and they will send it in for you. It doesn't appear at this time that Apple Stores or service providers are replacing the battery in-house. Of note is that the battery replacement program will not extend warranty coverage on any machine affected.