updated 09:20 pm EDT, Wed April 17, 2013
Early Macbook rubber bottom plates prone to separation from chassis
As the deadline for a program that would replace defective MacBook bottom cases under certain circumstances approaches, Apple has moved to extend the program for free replacement from two years after purchase to four years. The change, which applies to MacBooks (the previous budget personal notebook Apple made before consolidating its portable line into only MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs) regardless of the product's current warranty status, fixes an issue with the rubber bottom separating from the main chassis.
The program to address the defect was originally implemented in May of 2011 and was set to expire next month. It affects white polycarbonate MacBooks shipped between late 2009 and April of 2011, in cases where the non-slip rubber bottom has separated from the rest of the device. While Apple still uses rubber bottoms on some of its current products (like the Mac mini), the separation issue was apparently limited to just the MacBook line.
When a MacBook with the problem is presented to Apple, it will replace the entire bottom casing of the unit for free. Users can have the job done at Apple retail store, authorized service providers or through a DIY kit sent to the user to allow them to fix the problem themselves if they wish. The white MacBook line was exceptionally popular with students and budget-minded consumers, and it would seem that enough of them are still in routine service that Apple felt an extension of the replacement program was justified.
In its announcement of the extension, the company said it may opt to extend the program further if deemed necessary. Under the program, the company will only replace the bottom casing of the device, and not fix any other problems except at its own discretion to facilitate the bottom case repair. If any MacBook owners have already paid for a repair of the specific rubber-bottom case issue, Apple will issue a refund for the repair.