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10/16/2006
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MacBook Owners Organizing Class-Action Suit Against Apple

Users are steamed about a bug that causes the notebooks to shut down at random, losing data that wasn't saved before the shutdown.

With more than 1,300 Apple Computer MacBooks already listed on a Web site dedicated to a random shutdown problem, some users have begun to organize a class-action lawsuit.

According to users who have posted on Apple's own message forums, left comments on Web sites such as AppleDefects.com, and registered their MacBook systems on the MacBook Random Shutdown site, the Intel-powered notebooks shut down without warning. Any data not saved before such a shutdown -- which users have dubbed "RSS" for "Random Sudden Shutdown" -- is, of course, lost.

As of Monday, 1,373 MacBook owners had listed computers that experienced RSS on the MacBook Random Shutdown site, which as the name implies, is dedicated to the problem.

Apple has acknowledged the phenomenon, which some users believe is connected to a faulty heat sink that raises the internal temperature of the MacBook. However, Apple's recommendation, which as stated in a support document is "If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service," isn't good enough for everyone.

Owners upset at the long repair queues and the time it takes for Apple stores or dealers to fix the machines have begun organizing. A Web site that collects names and other information for possible class-action lawsuits has posted a link for MacBook owners, who can fill out a form to add their name to the list.

The MacBook notebooks, which were introduced in May, have been burdened with other heat-related problems. In August, Apple issued a firmware update that was supposed to lower the temperature of the computers and reduce fan noise.

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