Any new technology comes with growing pains, and USB-C isn’t exempt from this. Apple have recalled a large number of the new wires which were sold with MacBooks through to June 2015.
Introduced for use with the MacBook in March 2015, USB-C is to bring both charging and data connectivity up to date with modern demands. It can both charge and transfer data, meaning less ports need to be filled, and less wires will be lying around waiting to get tangled up in everything.
Unfortunately, things haven’t gone well for the new cable, with reports of some third party wires even wiping laptops blank. Apple have now decided to take action with their USB-C cables and are offering a recall.
It would appear that when used to charge up MacBooks, there was a chance the cables could fail to charge at all or just charge the devices intermittently.
In order to deal with this, Apple are offering replacements free of charge. In fact, if you offered a mailing list through the product registration sign up pages, they will send you a new one automatically.
So how can you tell if your cable is one of the ones affected? The affected cables have different text stamped along their length. The affected cables eligible for exchange say “Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China,” while new (and working) cables that don’t need to be exchanged say the same, but have a serial number following that text.
The image below shows the cable that is eligible for refund on the top, while the cable beneath has the extra serial number which indicates it is a new and redistributed version of the cable.
You will need to include the serial number of the MacBook to verify the purchase, and head into an Apple store or contact Apple Support.
Furthermore, if you have paid for a replacement for the cable already, you can contact Apple and discuss whether they will issue you with a refund for that purchase.