Apple's MagSafe connections for its laptop power adapters allows the connections to be quickly detached from systems, the benefits of which are obvious to anyone who has ever caught a foot in the power cord of a charging device and yanked it to the floor from its resting perch.
The MagSafe adapter is a great idea, but a number of people complained that its first iterations did have a couple of flaws that resulted in the cable getting twisted and bent (a situation called "strain relief"). In some instances this strain would cause the cable components to break and fray, resulting in the adapter shorting out and causing potentially unsafe conditions.
This problem was raised in a recent class action lawsuit against Apple, where instead of pursuing the lawsuit, Apple has decided to enter into the settlement and offer compensation for owners of these adapters.
The settlement is for any U.S. resident who is the original owner (by gift or direct purchase) of a MacBook or MacBook Pro system that shipped with either a 60W or 85W T-type adapter within the past three years. If your original power adapter is currently showing signs of wear around the connector, then Apple will replace the adapter for free. If you have already replaced your adapter, then Apple will compensate you for the cost, depending on the number of years you have owned the replacement adapter.
For adapters purchased within the last year, Apple will offer the amount paid for the adapter (up to $79--the price of a new adapter). If you have owned your replacement for two or three years, then the amount Apple will pay drops to $50 and $35, respectively. Apple will only issue payments for a limit of three adapters per computer system.
This settlement applies to all systems regardless of whether they are currently under warranty, so if you have a system and are worried about any fraying or wear around the adapter, just take it to an Apple store to have it looked at and replaced. Apple will not replace those that do not show wear or any signs of defect.
If you think your system qualifies and are in need of an adapter replacement, you can contact Apple or visit an Apple retail store to get a new adapter, but if you need to get a cash payment for your purchased adapter replacement, then you will need to fill out a claim form that can be found at the adapter settlement Web site.