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2019 MacBook Pro Seems to Have a High Failure Rate

James G writes:

I recently wrote to you about problems with my MacBook Pro 16” running OSX10.15.3 Crapalina having issues with restarts and shutdowns while sleeping.

I mentioned this to an acquaintance who is the manager of our local Apple Store and she said that they had not been seeing any problems like this with other MBP16 customers. She suggested I contact Apple support or bring it in to Genius Bar, which I did. I was impressed. They were fast and efficient.

They determined that there was indeed a hardware problem, probably the logic board, but the problem was esoteric enough that their local diagnostic tools weren’t sufficient. So I updated my Carbon Copy Cloner backup and took the machine back in the next morning to be spirited off to Apple’s central repair facility near Houston.

ll I can get from their progress emails is that it took them less than an hour to determine the problem and order “a part.” I suspect it’s a new logic board but since my MBP was a custom config with 4TB SSD and maxed RAM all soldered to the motherboard I bet the whole assembly has to come from China and what with the Covid situation I may have to wait awhile.

I’ll update you when my MBP is returned and I have a chance to test it.

... March 26...

I finally got my MacBook Pro 16” back from Apple repair. You may recall in a previous email I stated that it was crashing while sleeping. Bad logic board, which had to come from China (I assume) since the RAM and SSD are soldered on during manufacture. As mine was a 64GB RAM and 4TB SSD I don’t imagine they had a bin of those sitting around at Apple’s US repair facility.

The info they sent with the returned laptop says they replaced the logic board, the Touch ID board and the Lid Angle Sensor. The logic board swap presumably used a new SSD as there was a virgin system installed and none of my apps or data. A full restore using Carbon Copy Cloner got me up and running within 30 minutes.

So far so good, except now the right side of the keyboard backlight doesn’t work, though it worked OK before I sent it to them. Grrrrr….

It will be back to Apple once the COVID-19 dust settles. But if they have to wait another two weeks for a part from China I’m just going to buy a new one, get this one fixed and sell it. Apple won’t declare a hardware item DOA and give you a new one unless you buy it directly from them.

So far this is the fifth apple laptop I have owned and the last four have all needed a new logic or video board at some point. Understand, I usually drive my laptops until they drop, but this last one was bad from the get-go.

MPG: this is the 3rd and maybe the 4th bad 2019 MacBook Pro logic board replacement I have heard about—two from consulting clients and one from reader.

NEVER have I had so many reports directly from readers/clients. It seems that Apple has serious qualitiy control issues. Be sure to buy AppleCare with the laptop.

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