Apple stores and Authorised Repair Providers have now been informed of policy changes after some Apple Watch Series 2 users complained about swollen batteries and a refusal to turn on.
According to the document that was distributed through the company’s internal GSX portal on Friday, “some” Apple Watch Series 2 models will not power on or exhibit swollen batteries “under certain conditions.” An exact description of the minimum requirements for eligibility was not included but Apple will be offering free repairs to all devices that fall under the criteria after a physical examination.
This program is limited to 42mm Apple Watch Series 2 variants, suggesting that the same battery issue is not prevalent on the 38mm models. The repairs are available to users for a up to three years after purchase even if the device is not included in Apple’s add-on warranty.
A notification of the new repair policy has been sent to providers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe, suggesting that the initiative is worldwide. However, Apple is yet to release an official statement on the matter nor is it listed on the company’s Exchange and Repair Extension programs page.
Apple Insider reached out to Apple for comment:
Apple Watch users have for years complained of expanded, or swollen, batteries across multiple device generations. Like most lithium-ion battery packs, the pouches used to power Apple Watch are susceptible to swelling and expanding when punctured, overcharged, overheated or otherwise damaged. While not a widespread issue, battery swelling can cause power interruptions, operational issues or, in some cases, dislodged displays.
Over the past few months, owners of Series 2 devices relayed information about similar problems via Apple’s Support Communities 1, 2, Reddit (1,
2) and other online forums. Public reports also confirm issues in which the device refuses to power on.
The new repair program mirrors a warranty update for first-generation Apple Watch models implemented last year. At the time, Apple extended its standard one-year limited coverage by two years to account for devices suffering from swollen batteries.