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Apple Offers Free Repairs to 13-Inch MacBook Pro Units Plagued by ‘Flexgate’ Display Issues

“Flexgate” caused MacBook Pro display backlight to fail completely in some cases.

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Apple Offers Free Repairs to 13-Inch MacBook Pro Units Plagued by ‘Flexgate’ Display Issues

Only two 13-inch MacBook Pro models are eligible for Apple’s free repair programme

Highlights
  • Flexgate issue was first spotted in January this year
  • Apple’s free service programme is available globally
  • Repairs will be covered for four years after a laptop’s purchase

Apple has announced that it will be offering free repairs to 13-inch MacBook Pro consumers who have been facing backlight issues. The company noted that the affected MacBook Pro units were sold between October 2016 and February 2018. The consumers can visit an Apple Store, authorised service centre, or call the Apple Support to get their 13-inch MacBook Pro serviced free of cost. The backlighting issues, which were first spotted earlier this year, are known as “flexgate”.

In an article on its website, Apple wrote that the display backlight on the affected 13-inch MacBook Pro units either continuously or intermittently shows vertical bright areas along the entire bottom of the screen. In some cases, the display backlight stops working completely on the MacBook Pro.

As we mentioned earlier, the “flexgate” was first reported back in January this year. The backlighting issue on the MacBook Pro units appears to arise due to the flexible ribbon cables connecting the display with a controller board. The cables in question are considered to be prone to fatigue and failure because of stretching more than they can handle — resulting in a "stage light" effect on the MacBook Pro models.

Apple has apparently fixed the problem in newer MacBook Pro models by increasing the length of the cable.

To check if your 13-inch MacBook Pro is eligible for Apple's free display backlight service programme, check the About This Mac option in the Apple menu to see if it shows the name of your MacBook Pro as “MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)” or “MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports).” Only these MacBook Pro models are part of the programme, Apple has said.

According to Apple, the free service programme is available globally and covers the eligible MacBook Pro models for 4 years after the first retail sale of the unit.

Apart from the “flexgate” service programme, Apple has also announced an extension of the repair programme for MacBook models facing keyboard issues because of the “butterfly mechanism.”

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