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Apple Announces Repair Program for MacBook Pro Video Issues

Apple apparently read our article about 2011 MacBook Pro graphics issues (see Topher Kessler’s “Apple’s Baffling Response to 2011 MacBook Pro Graphics Issues,” 13 February 2015), and was sufficiently embarrassed to announce a repair extension program for those suffering from the problem. (OK, we’re not really taking credit, but the timing was too good.) The company will also be reimbursing those who already paid for repairs.

The extension program covers 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2011 and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display models manufactured between mid-2012 and early 2013. If you own one of these computers and it’s experiencing the following issues, Apple will repair it at no charge:

  • Distorted or scrambled video on the computer screen

  • No video on the computer screen (or external display) even though the computer is on

  • Computer restarts unexpectedly

You can enter your MacBook Pro’s serial number into Apple’s Check Your Service and Support Coverage page to see if it’s covered.

If your computer is covered and affected, you will either need to bring it into an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for repair. Alternatively, you can call 800-275-2273 to request a postage-paid box to send your MacBook Pro to the nearest Apple Repair Center.

On the other hand, if you’ve already paid for a repair through Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, Apple will be contacting you to arrange for reimbursement. If you aren’t contacted, you can contact Apple via a link at the bottom of the repair extension page.


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Comments about Apple Announces Repair Program for MacBook Pro Video Issues
(Comments are closed.)

Well this is good news. Since I already paid the $310 for the repair, I wonder how long it will take Apple to contact me. Can't find the link on the repair extension page.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-21 19:14
It's at the very bottom of the text.
joestoner  2015-02-24 05:09
The link takes me to a bog standard Apple "Purchase Tech supp etc.," nothing specific for my early 2011 15 MBP which has had artifacting since day one!!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-24 08:26
The "contact us" link takes you to a page that looks standard, but if you look closely, you'll see this text in the upper right corner:

Mac notebooks
Refund Request - MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues

Regardless, the only reason to call is if you paid for a repair and haven't yet been contacted. So hopefully whoever you did end up talking to at Apple would know about the repair program, although it may take some details to get the refund.
joestoner  2015-02-24 10:27
That text is not there Adam!
I've not had a repair but I'm sick of artifacting and "going to sleep"!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-24 10:58
The contact page seems to be a JavaScript-driven page that figures out where you're coming from, so perhaps there's something getting in the way. Regardless, if you haven't had a repair, you don't need to contact Apple that way. Instead, use the Coverage page to see if your machine is covered. You could also take the Mac to an Apple Store, but they'll probably just use the same page to check if you're covered.
Ivan Mueller  2015-02-24 08:45
I friend of mine purchased a MacBook Pro (15" - Early 2011) in December 2011. The symptoms his Mac are showing are pretty much like the ones widely published. So I thought: cool, intead of him replacing his Mac he might still get some new life out of it. But... on Apple's web site it turns out that in addition to the serial number you also have to provide an exact purchase date. Now my friend doesn't have any receipts nor invoices anymore. He only knows he purchased it in December 2011. Should he give-up hope?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-24 09:19
Definitely not. I'd first try making up a date in that month (he probably remembers the general time (early, late, etc) and if that doesn't work for some reason, calling Apple.
Apple can look up the purchase date from the serial number. They've done it at the Genius Bar every time I've brought in something for service.
I just hope they're comprehensive in their coverage.
When my graphics went crazy, they gave me the option of fixing that exact problem for ~$500 or of doing a system check and overhaul for ~$300 which would obviously then find the video problem and include that repair. I chose the latter for financial reasons (costs less, includes more) but had an inkling that this day would come and I would miss out on a refund because the repair order was not labelled "graphics failure".
Then within the 90 day repair warranty, it went bad again. They fixed it free, of course, but since then I've been worried about when it will fry itself again.
I await Apple's email.
Has anyone had any luck on graphics issues facing the iMacs? Mine suffers from crazy flickers and is unusable at times. Rebooting is the only fix.
I called Apple support and spoke to a rep who was very helpful. I got confirmed for a refund for my repair last November. Apple replied and said it would take about 15 days for a full refund of my $328. Yay!
Jonathan  2015-02-28 16:55
It's great that they're doing this, but I am very sad. My 15" MBP (high-res screen) from mid 2010 has the exact same symptoms (and confirmed bad at an apple store), but is NOT covered. I can't help but wonder how arbitrary their 2011 start-date is.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-02-28 17:26
I think it's worth taking it to an Apple Store and showing a Genius - perhaps they'll help regardless.
John Wolff  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2015-03-26 15:09
Thank you TidBITS for publicising this issue. I would not otherwise have known that the repair program existed.

I bought my 17" MacBookPro in July 2011 from PowerMax whilst visiting the US. This week it was accepted for replacement of the logic board by the local Apple dealer in Hamilton New Zealand.

The repair document showed that the replacement charge to Apple was $NZ 2700 -- about the same as a refurbished 2014 15" Retina MacBookPro with 512GB SSD!!

Thank you Apple!!