The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has banned Apple’s recalled 15-inch MacBook Pro over safety risks. In a notice issued by the DGCA, it was stated that Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with the battery defects should not be carried onto airlines in India.
The regulator bans the MacBook Pro 15-inch units from being carried in hand-baggage or as part of the check-in baggage, until the battery has been verified/certified as safe or replaced by the customer. Earlier, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways issued a warning asking customers to not bring the recalled 15-inch MacBook Pro units on board given the battery issues and that these laptops pose a fire safety risk.
The notice issued by DGCA reads as follows, “Consequent upon the recall of a limited number of older generation 15 inch MacBook Pro laptops by M/s Apple Inc. (sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017) due to fears that their batteries may overheat and pose a safety risk, DGCA requests all air passengers not to fly with the affected models either as hand-baggage or checked in baggage until the battery has been verified/certified as safe or replaced by the manufacturer.”
Apple had issued the ‘voluntary’ recall for its 15-inch MacBook Pro in June this year and said that the affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017. It had also said that a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units were prone to battery overheating, which could pose a fire safety risk.
In a warning on its website, Singapore Airlines has said that “customers are to refrain from bringing the affected models either as hand-carry or in checked baggage until the battery has been verified as safe or replaced by the manufacturer.” Singapore Airlines is asking customers to visit Apple’s MacBook Pro recall program to get more information.
Thai Airways has announced the ban as well, which it says is in accordance with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations. Both airlines have posted the notices on their official websites. Thai Airways says customers are not allowed to take older generation of 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops, which were sold between September 2015 and February 2017.
The order is in keeping with safety precautions that need to be followed with regard to recalled lithium battery powered portable electronic device. “The devices could catch fire and pose a safety risk unless they are fixed or batteries are replaced as advised by the manufacturer,” adds the notice.
“To avoid any dangerous situations or fire risks, passengers are advised to check if their electronic devices are broken, emit heat or smoke. Should electronic devices falling between aircraft seats, passengers are reminded to contact flight attendants for assistance,” it reads.
Apple in its recall program said that only a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro models were impacted. Users have to go to the Apple recall page and enter their serial number to see if their MacBook Pro is impacted. Apple says affected models were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017.
The last time a major device got banned from airlines was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which had battery issues with several reports of the phones catching fire. In one instance, a replacement Galaxy Note 7 had caught fire on a Southwest Airlines in the United States, which was forced to evacuate. Samsung later pulled the Galaxy Note 7 from the market.
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