Apple recalls defective USB-C power cables

A design issue with Apple’s USB-C power cables has prompted the California-based tech giant to recall some defective charge cables bundled with the 12 inch MacBook that were sold worldwide up to last summer.

Apple said in a statement that the issue affects a “limited number” of Apple USB-C charge cables that were included with MacBook computers through June 2015.

MacBooks may not charge or only charge intermittently when it’s connected to a power adapter with an affected cable, Apple said.

The affected cables have “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” stamped on them. New, redesigned cables include a serial number after that text.

Apple USB-C charge cables

The company will provide eligible customers with a new, redesigned USB-C charge cable, free of charge. Those who bought Apple USB-C charge cables as a standalone accessory are also covered by the program.

Consumers who provided a valid mailing address during the product registration process or Apple Online Store purchase will be sent a new cable by the end of February 2016. Other eligible cable owners can ask for a replacement by providing their MacBook serial number to Apple Support.

Use of a USB-C port was one of the most highlighted features of the 2015 MacBook.

The port is not available in other Apple laptops. It’s not only used for charging, but also supports a number of different protocols using “alternate modes,” which allows users to have adapters that can output various types of connections from that single port, such as HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort. The idea is that USB-C will become the ‘norm’ for all devices of the future.

However, USB-C cables can carry a lot more power than traditional USB cables. As a result, there have been cases of the cables damaging computers and power supplies.

The MacBook was among the first devices to accommodate a USB Type-C cable, along with the Nokia N1 tablet and Google’s second Chromebook Pixel.

This is the second time that Apple has recalled one of its hardware accessories since the beginning of the year. Last month the company issued a recall for some power adapters that came bundled with iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Mac computers since 2003.