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Apple Recalls Some International Wall Plug Adapters

Apple has issued a recall for some two-prong wall plug adapters designed for use in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Continental Europe, Korea, and New Zealand. (See, international readers — it’s not all about the United States!) These adapters shipped from 2003 to 2015 with various Apple devices. The danger is that the prongs may break off and create an electric shock risk.

To be clear, we’re not talking about the entire AC adapter for Apple’s notebook computers and iOS devices — just the small removable portion that plugs into the wall outlet. Nor does this recall affect corded wall plug adapters — just the short, rectangular two-pronged adapters.

To see if your wall plug adapter is covered by the recall, slide it out and look at the slot on the underside of the adapter. Recalled adapters have a four- or five-digit code stamped into the slot, or no characters at all. Newer power adapters, which are not affected by the recall, have a three-letter regional code (ARG, AUS, BRA, EUR, or KOR) printed in the slot.

To exchange the wall plug adapter, you’ll either need to schedule an appointment with your nearest Genius Bar or contact Apple Support. Either way, you can start the process at Apple’s support portal. Apple needs to verify the serial number for the Mac or iOS device that goes with the power adapter, so look for that in advance.


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Comments about Apple Recalls Some International Wall Plug Adapters
(Comments are closed.)

Bruce Bowden  2016-01-28 19:13
'Make sure you also have the serial number for the Mac or iOS device that goes with the power adapter."

I hope they don't expect these to be accurate. We can't keep track of which adaptor originally came with which device. I know the higher power wall plugs came with iPads but that's the only clue we have.
Dan Daranciang  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2016-01-28 22:47
They are probably using the serial number to keep track of how many replacements have been issued against each device. Assuming you registered the device in question, Apple can then keep track of specific individuals. Plus it's also a quick hoop to jump through that helps verify that people really want the adapter.
David Empson  2016-02-01 21:49
I found 11 of these plug adapters among my family's collection of Apple devices, including various MacBook models, Airport Express, iPods, docks, iPads and spare power adapters. I was able to take them in to a local Apple Authorised Service Provider (in Wellington, New Zealand - no Apple Stores here) and get free replacements without any serial numbers or even identifying myself. Took less than five minutes.

The form for doing it online requires a serial number for the product with which the plug adapter was supplied, and appears to only allow ordering one at a time, so it would be rather tedious if you have several.

Some of my plug adapters had no serial number associated with them, e.g. a 10W power adapter I bought as a spare for an iPad. I haven't found out what happens in that case if you can't get to an AASP.
Lamont Ancient  2016-02-02 06:02
No one yet has mentioned the little Apple rechargeable battery charger which has the same adapter but no serial number that I can see.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2016-02-02 08:56
Sounds like taking it in to an Apple Store or authorized reseller would provide the best option for getting such a thing replaced.
Derek Currie  2016-02-02 07:31
Apple calls this part of the adapters the 'duck head'. I'm guessing that the two prongs are supposed to be the duck bills.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2016-02-02 08:58
Quack! I wish we'd known that when writing - "duck head" is way more fun to write than "wall prong adapter."
Guy Plunkett III  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2016-02-02 08:48
I purchased a couple of Apple's international adapter kits years ago (Apple World Travel Adapter Kit, Part number: MD837AM/A I believe -- I don't have them ready at hand). Any idea whether I need to [and am able to] replace several of the "duck heads."
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2016-02-02 08:57
Yes, possibly. Some of them were included in the recall. It's worth checking into once you find yours.
I have the world travel adapter kit and I went to the Apple Store to get them replaced. They weren't very knowledgeable about the recall, and the genius had to go consult with the supervisor several times, but supposedly they ordered the affected units and will notify me when they come in.
An update: I received a notice that my replacement plugs are ready-one day after they were ordered.
janesprando  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2016-02-11 15:14
I tried to print out this article --- and others --- but none of the pictures, jpgs or illustrations show up for the printed version.

For this article, I really want to have the illustration. is there a fix for printing articles?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2016-02-11 18:49
I suspect you have a plug-in that's forcing https, and that breaks image display in our print view. So if you can just view the article using http (perhaps try a different browser), it should display the images when you click the On/Off toggle link in print view.