Defective MacBook Pro Battery

With all the various battery recalls both for Apple and non-Apple laptops, it sucks to have a defective battery that's not being recalled. Check this out:

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coconutBattery is a great little utility that pulls together some battery numbers in a nice UI. In this case it's telling me that my battery's maximum charge is 21% of what it originally was. This computer can run on battery power for about 20 minutes.

It's had 258 charge cycles, which is a fair amount, but MacBook Pro batteries are expected to be at >80% charge after 300 cycles. This battery is nowhere near that.

I've got the 1.3 Battery Update, I've tried calibrating the battery, nothing helps. This battery is just plain defective.

So even though the warranty is only 3 months and this battery is 15 months old, I called Apple anyway. Their answer was that there was a time when they were replacing batteries that had this problem, but they stopped doing that. The product specialist's guess was that they were having to replace batteries too often and it became too costly to replace them.

If my Mac was one of the older Mac's with a Core Duo, it would be covered under a special 2 year warranty for defective batteries. My battery fits the profile of that recall, but isn't covered by it (my Mac has a Core 2 Duo). I wonder how many people need to have the problem before they'll consider a recall.

The disappointing part of this story is that a new battery is $159, and there's no guarantee that this won't happen again.