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Apple again extends free iBook repair program

The Mac maker now says older models with faulty logic boards are eligible for free replacement.

Apple Computer has again expanded the range of iBooks eligible for replacement under a program that offers free fixes for laptops with faulty logic boards.

The Mac maker said Monday that it is offering free repairs to iBooks purchased between May 2001 and October 2003 that have certain display problems. Apple had previously covered a smaller number of machines, those bought starting a year later, between May 2002 and October 2003.

The Mac maker first launched a repair program in January and then expanded it in April. After both announcements, however, some Mac users complained that their iBooks, though not purchased in the period covered by the programs, exhibited similar problems.

Affected machines can have various display problems after they boot up, such as scrambled or distorted video, the appearance of unexpected lines on the screen, and video that freezes or displays intermittently.

An Apple representative said the company believes that all iBook owners affected by the issue are now covered.

Apple has continued to cover more machines but has otherwise left the terms of the program the same as when it was announced in January. The company is offering the free repair for machines that have "specific component failures" within three years of their first retail sale.

Concerned customers are encouraged to call Apple or an authorized service provider.

Apple said it will bear all costs for the repairs, including shipping, and said the fix could include either repairing or replacing the iBook's main logic board. Apple also said it will reimburse affected customers who had already paid for repairs related to the logic board issue.