It is extremely rare for an electronics company to recall a product, but when they do, it’s very serious. Apple’s latest announcement is for those who own an Apple’s World Travel Adapter Kit or any Apple devices in Hong Kong, Singapore or the U.K. The company announced a voluntary recall of a batch of three-prong power adapters on Thursday.
Why is Apple recalling three-prong power adapters?
The company said the three-prong power adapters could break and cause an electrical shock to the user if they touch the exposed metal after the plastic on top is broken.
“Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the Apple three-prong AC wall plug adapters …. may break and create a risk of electrical shock if exposed metal parts are touched,” the company said in a press release.
The company says it is aware of six incidents globally in which the adapters broke or caused an electrical shock. The three-prong power adapters Apple is recalling came with Macs and iOS devices manufactured between 2003 and 2010. The power adapters were also sold as part of Apple’s World Travel Adapter Kit.
The safety recall and the risk of electrical shock are applicable only to older three-prong power adapters. The company already offers a newer version of the power adapter, which has no such issues. The recall also does not apply to any USB power adapters, such as those that come with the iPhone and iPad.
How to identify the eligible adapters
The recalled power adapters are white and carry no text on the back. In comparison, the new version has some text written on its rear casing, and in addition to white, they have a touch of gray on the inside part.
Apple is requesting that users with the old three-prong power adapters to exchange them for the new version, free of charge. To exchange the adapter, you need to contact a local authorized Apple Service Provider or make an appointment with your local Apple Store. You will also have to provide the serial number of your device, so keep it ready.
“Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority, and we have voluntarily decided to exchange affected wall plug adapters with a new adapter, free of charge,” the company said.
As of now, it is not known how many people posses the old adapters. If you also have an adapter that is eligible for the recall, you can find more details on the exchange process and the recall program from this link.
Apple initiated a similar voluntary recall in 2016 for its two-prong AC wall plug adapters. These adapters were designed for use in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, continental Europe and South Korea. The reason was the same as the current recall: risk of electrical shock. At the time, the eligible adapters were shipped between 2003 and 2015.
Other recalls from Apple
Last year Apple announced the recall of some iPhone 8 handsets for faulty logic boards. At the time, Apple initiated a free iPhone 8 Logic Board Replacement Program. The symptoms of the issue were the iPhone 8 suddenly freezing or restarting. This recall was not extended to the iPhone 8 Plus or any other iPhone model.
At the time, Apple said only a very “small percentage of iPhone 8 devices” were affected by this issue. A logic board carries components like the microprocessor, wireless chip and memory. The affected iPhones were manufactured between September 2017 and March 2018 and were sold in Japan, Macau, China, Hong Kong, Australia, India, New Zealand and the U.S.
In addition to the above eligibility criteria, Apple had one more condition. The condition was that the eligible iPhone 8 must not have any other damage that would prevent it from carrying out the free repair. Those with a device that had other damage, such as a broken screen, were asked to get the other damage fixed first.
Last year Apple also initiated a $29 battery replacement program for the iPhone 6 and later models. The program was the result of the massive backlash the company faced after it came to light that it had intentionally slowed older iPhones to protect them from unexpected shutdowns due to old batteries.
Under the program, even out-of-warranty batteries were replaced at a lower cost of just $29, compared to the usual cost of $79. The program ended on Dec. 31.