Petition about Apple MacBook Pro failures passes 10,000 signatures

Petition about Apple MacBook Pro failures passes 10,000 signatures

Summary: A petition about 'Early 2011 MacBook Pros with Graphics Failures' is still attracting signatures, but so far with no prospect of Apple tackling the problem

TOPICS: Apple, Laptops

A petition by Raj Dsouza to Replace or Fix All Early 2011 MacBook Pros with Graphics Failures has now gathered more than 10,000 signatures, though Apple still shows no sign of standing behind its product.

This contrasts with its action on a similar fault with the 27-inch iMac computers sold between May 2011 and October 2012. In this case, Apple announced that it would "replace the video card free of charge for four years after the first retail sale of the computer". Fixing early-2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros would cost more because the ATI Radeon 67xx GPU is soldered to the logic board. However, the cost would still not make a visible dent in Apple's $165 billion cash hoard.

Dsouza's petition says: "Everyone who bought a MacBook Pro spent a huge premium … and did not expect to have a manufacturing defect. This issue had made a $2,500 investment a piece of junk in two years. We do not buy Apple products with this in mind."

Buyers who took out three years of Apple Care would have got their machines fixed, but this will have run out for many owners, or will soon run out. In either case, this falls short of Apple's decision to repair 27-inch iMacs "for four years after the first retail sale".

Dsouza identifies himself as petitioning from Sydney, Australia, and bought his MacBook Pro in Hong Kong, so he would not be able to start a class action lawsuit against Apple in the USA. However, this could be an option for American users.

The risk was highlighted by iFixit in Step 10 of its MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Early 2011 Teardown, published in February 2010. It says: "Holy thermal paste! Time will tell if the gobs of thermal paste applied to the CPU and GPU will cause overheating issues down the road."

If either the thermal paste or the soldering causes the problem — which remains unknown — the fault was created by the assembly process rather than by a defective component or similar issue. That would make it cheaper to fix than the Apple's usual suggestion: replace the motherboard. And, of course, there's no guarantee that the replacement motherboard won't fail in the same way.

This is clearly a real problem for users. Apart from the (currently) 10,372 signatures on the petition, one of the Apple Support threads — 2011 MacBook Pro and Discrete Graphics Card — has had 7,828 replies (more than 500 pages) and 1,128,677 views.

It's clearly a problem for Apple, too, as some of comments make clear. For example, In a comment at Tech Republic, Kanimies says: "This does indeed have a big impact on how I see Apple quality, especially should they choose not to repair the flawed units at their cost. It would mean that buying an Apple no longer meant paying extra for quality and dedication to customer satisfaction. It would simply mean you're paying more for the badge just because you're stupid."

Incidentally, if you have an early-2011 MBP that hasn't gone wrong, that doesn't mean it won't go wrong. If the fault is triggered by overheating, it could still appear during heavyweight tasks such as video editing.


Ziff-MBP_petiton (600 x 415)
Petitioning Apple at Photo: ZDNet screen grab

Topics: Apple, Laptops

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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  • Was that the same year

    of the exploding Mac batteries. More thermal paste issues? Seems like the new Mac don't explode as much anymore.
    Sean Foley
    • Ha

      Should have bought an ASUS ROG for half the price and you would have gotten a better performing machine with a removeable and upgradable GPU.
  • 2011?

    I'm surprised this is still getting any attention. 2011? What sort of Mac user would be caught dead with a three year old fashion accessory? The Mac users where I work demand new ones just about every year.
    • Re: 2011?

      One of the finest Macs ever released came out that year. The 2011 21.5" iMac.

      I wouldn't trade it in for any of todays models.
      • Nah

        27" iMac all the way!!!
        Rann Xeroxx
      • The 2011 Mac Mini is for me...

        AKA, the last Mac Mini with a dedicated GPU.
  • Apple strikes again

    Interesting, when Microsoft responded to problems with an update with a mea culpa and instructions for uninstall, all the Apple fans responded with glee about microshaft hurting people. Well Apple fails, but the big difference is they don't admit it. Remember antennae problems and the famous death grip? Apple could fix every problem out of a week's worth of petty cash, but do they want to? Not a chance.
    • Well, not always....

      I agree with the gist of your comment, but as mentioned, Apple did admit to and fix the problem with 27-inch iMacs. I don't really see why they'd do one and not the other....
      Jack Schofield
    • Not aware of any white hats in this area

      I got the red ring of death on my xBox 360... and despite jumping through some of the hoops to get the alleged fix that was allegedly offered for out of warranty machines, nothing ever happened for me.

      Sorry, these companies all have problems with their gear, and most of them come up short on making it right. Just how it is.
  • Glad I got the 13"

    from that year. Dodged a bullet!
  • Give us a break ....

    "Petition about Apple MacBook Pro failures passes 10,000 signatures" - yeah, and where it asked "occupation", 9,999 wrote "Microsoft Fanboi".

    (Sean Foley wrote "Burson Marstellar shill")
    • Good one

      You made me look up "Burson Marstellar", but you misspelled it, should be "Burson-Marsteller". Anyway, I have got to sign this Petition! Thanks for reminding me.
      Sean Foley
  • 10,000 signatures or 100,000?

    There is a small difference.
    • Oops!

      Many thanks for spotting that... Now corrected.
      Jack Schofield
  • Just because a bunch of people

    are claiming their video cards are failing due to a manufacturing error does not make it so. Now, I know it's cool to bash Apple (and large corporations in general), but Apple has a well documented history of being very generous in repairing manufacturing defects ONCE IT HAS DETERMINED THE DEFECT IS REAL.
    • So it's just a coincidence?

      A shedload of MacBook Pros all fail in the same way? Really?
      Jack Schofield
    • You're an idiot.

      The 2007 MBP had the same issue... Apple relucantly agreed to fix it 1 time if they could lay the blame on nvidia.

      I know this because mine failed and they fixed it.
    • Not this time

      The only option through Apple is a $310 +tax Logicboard replacement with refurbished boards where the same issue comes up within 6 to 9 months. Several poster are saying that they have had the problem repeat three times in less than year.

      This is NOT a solution.

      I have posted 100's of times on the Apple forums and even posted the paperwork that came back from the depot. All of which has been deleted, by Apple. My logic board was replaced 3 times in a 3 month period. Let me give some details before we get too deep.

      I posted the sheets from the depot stating my machine was back in good hands mine and has passed all the tests. Well this particular issue does not show up on the tests its not until they open the machine do they find the issue and to what extent the damage is. The damage far surpasses the GPU and CPU. I should add also that I am in the music and entertainment industry as well as a photographer so I do a lot of heavy CPU and GPU intensive work therefore the issues showed up on my machines pretty fast, when/if there are issues.

      When I received the Macbook Pro the Firewire port dropped off, the airport would disconnect randomly, the video was hooked to a big screen so I thought it was the monitor's fault and Dell was so kind as to send me 3 brand new replacements before it was determined it was the thunderbolt port and not the monitor. The USB only had power to one port, the keyboard did not always record my keystrokes, the audio picked up a local AM Country channel rather than what was being recorded in my music studio and the list just keeps on going.

      I purchased USB hubs to accommodate for the USB port and Firewire port that did not work. I had to purchase a new 4 track that had its own sound card so I could record without using the Macbook Pro's sound card and the AM Country Radio station this list continues as well.

      I had Apple Care on both machines, oh did I forget to mention I bought two machines an early 2011 Macbook Pro and a iMac with the same special configuration at the same time and the iMac has died the same death recently.

      The machine was DOA however because the machine was a replacement for a DOA machine I received two weeks earlier, same make, model and configuration which they refused to replace it. I was told there is noway two machines came off the line broke. I said there is if the parts are defective or the assembly line has a defective process.

      Below this point is my latest post some of which probably repeats what I have written above. My time is limited so forgive any duplicate remarks. I would also like to state I am a computer expert in ALL operating systems and networking systems therefore I know there isn't any "ONE" OS or type of machine that can do everything all by itself. I do prefer Unix/Linux/Mac for the OS stability as well as the software required to do what I do in the music, entertainment and photography company is written for OS X which is actually a hybrid of BSD Unix therefore stable. Its the hardware that is the issue on a Mac. One can build their own machine hardware wise and run Windows giving the person stable hardware but the OS is not as stable as a *nix based OS. So you have a choice stable OS or stable hardware but you can't have both.

      Hello Everyone! I have been battling this now for exactly one solid year. Those of you that have followed my posts here and on the Apple forums (Most have been removed on the Apple Forum) know that this issue goes much deeper than the GPU and screen images.

      I purchased a special order early 2011 Macbook Pro and a iMac with the same configuration at the same time. The Macbook Pro was DOA and because it was a replacement for a early 2011 Macbook Pro I purchased two weeks prior that was also DOA Apple refused to replace the machine immediately. Apple had become over run with so many DOA's of that model, they even ran out of parts to replace the defective parts recently. Replacing defective parts with the same defective parts certainly did not help the crisis. Apple knew about the issue, although to this day denies it, but the fact they modified the machines within a few months of the release to fix the GPU, CPU and heating issues proves they knew about it. The "fix" or "modification" was kept quiet until recently. The only people that was plagued with the issues early in this expensive paperweight game were those in the music, entertainment, photography and engineering fields due to the heavy GPU and CPU computational and stress on the machine which without the defects should have had no problems what so ever.

      Of course I did everything except stand on my head naked to get them to realize if two of the same machine's with the same faulty parts were both DOA then there was an issue. I always buy Apple Care for Mac's and whatever warranty is available for any product I purchase.

      After working around the issues for nearly 3 years which cost me a fortune Apple replaced the logic board 3 times within a 3 month period between August 2013 and November 2013, as well as the airport twice, all cables and wiring 3 times (due to visible heat damage to the cables and wiring), the optical drive 4 times, basically everything except the RAM was replaced. Yet the issues remained. Apple had me jump through every hoop possible and most were unreasonable but I did it anyway.

      The OS was reinstalled more times than I care to remember. When I say it was reinstalled I mean it was formatted as was the external Time Machine drive and the OS reinstalled and all software was installed piece by piece as if it were a new machine. Still the problems remained. The Macbook Pro has been out of commission completely and unusable since August 2013. Not only was the screen having issues but the USB ports did not have power, the Firewire port did not work the thunderbolt port kept dropping its connection to the big screen monitor, the airport dropped its connection to the network on a regular basis, the machine would reboot itself at random, it was running so slow I would type a paragraph then have to wait 10 - 15 minutes for the letters to show up on screen. The heating issues were astronomical running over 120F on boot up and the boot up process took long enough for me to walk my dog and come back home and it still was not at the login screen. Keep in mind both my machines were under Apple Care at the time. Also keep in mind the issue DOES NOT show up on the Apple hardware test.

      I emailed Tim Cook and one of his assistants called me and told me the machine would not be replaced for the same reason it was not replaced the day it arrived DOA because it was a replacement for a machine I purchased two weeks prior that was DOA with the same faulty issues. Given it was the same make, model, year and configuration it was clearly a defective issue in the build of these particular machines.

      I was told to take it to an Apple Store Genius Bar given the mail in depot did not fix the issue even after replacing the parts. I asked if she were implying the depot was incompetent along with the white glove touch? She replied given the depot did not fix the issue after three tries then maybe changing the environment would give it a better chance of getting fixed. All the way my Apple Care is getting closer and closer to the expiration date. I do not live close to an Apple store so I called the Apple store and explained the situation and they said it was the logic board that required replaced and possibly other parts that were damaged due to the faulty logic board. It was something they would have to send to the depot, the very same depot the machine had been sent to during that 3 month time frame. I did not have time to play games and jump through hoops as these are business machines. I contacted Tim Cooks assistant once again with no luck in resolving the issue. I even asked if I could take the machine to an Apple authorized service center and she said no it had to be the Apple Store.

      After some searching on the net I found this was a wide spread issue that Apple still has not addressed or even accepted that an issue exists despite all the complaints globally with identical problems. The machines were still at this point under Apple Care and since I refused to take the machines to the Apple Store, because I do not live near one and by talking to the store and being told they would send it to the depot, the same depot and white glove service it had undergone, Apple decided not to honor my Apple Care any longer.

      There is 8G of RAM in both machines plus the additional 1G video RAM on the second video card. Yet upon boot up with nothing running at boot up it shows only 1G or less of RAM. The Macbook Pro had been unusable but I was able to use the iMac until about 2 months ago when it too began to shut itself off, over heat, blue screen, video issues, show less than a GIG of RAM on bootup, an so on.

      I have found a Windows replacement in the Lenovo W540 however I will not lie the OS X operating system is far superior to Windows operating system however I can not run a business on defective machines nor can I justify paying the outrageous price tag for a Mac when they do not even stand behind their own workmanship and parts. I will miss the Mac's, the craftsmanship and quality they once stood for and on which I was gladly happy to pay for in a superior product however that is no longer the case with any Apple product these days. It seems as if most if not all Apple products are trailing behind all other manufacturers in the tablet, phone and computer race to the first place position.

      Many have written about several different ways of trying to fix the problem with the GPU and heating issues however after only a few short months they are plagued with not only the same issue but also the issues that were caused by the original issue that damaged so many internal parts that the machines are not much more than very expensive paper weights and Apple has no comment.

      Class action suit or directly suing Apple is where my thoughts are at this point. I have lost so much time, money, stress, sleep, illness, loss of customers, missed deadlines which cost my customers to look bad and the final straw was a Stroke in April 2014 when I was at my breaking point. That is when I decided I had to take time to calm down and remove all emotional attachment to the situation then proceed with the next step which is of course how to clear my name and be reimbursed for the last 3 years of undo stress and financial burden caused by this entire colossal rip off that Apple is getting away with by using the deny deny deny method. It must be a full time job for someone to delete all the valid posts by those affected by this defect which allows Apple to claim there isn't enough data to confirm there is an issue.

      Steve Jobs, may he rest is peace, is not going to come back this time and save Apple from itself.
  • lies and more lies

    if you break down the macbook, you'll find the only thing apple invented was the aluminum body and the osx. "retina" display is lie. if they had a real display tech, they would have shown a real pro monitor or t.v at CES or NAB. notice they have not updated their display yet to a 3200×1600 LTPSL display with Quantum Dot, yet- that is at least 3.5 years overdue for a "premium" state of the art machine.
    Nathane Grave