Reports of failing MacBook Pros have been flooding in, with owners of early-2011 models with AMD graphics claiming to be suffering from system crashes and hardware problems that have been described as "critical".

Since first publishing this story, we've had more than 80 readers get in touch to let us know that they're experiencing the same issue. The huge thread on Apple's Support Communities has now reached 197 pages and counting.

The problem, which first emerged in February last year, has escalated since 2014 arrived as more and more owners of the affected models begin to experience issues. While playing games, watching HD video or performing another graphics-intensive task, users have witnessed their displays distorting, or sometimes going completely blank. Rebooting the machine temporarily resolves the issue, but it almost always returns.

Eventually, many users found that their MacBook boots to a blue or grey screen. Currently, the only permanent resolution is to get a replacement logic board, but that can prove quite costly without Apple Care. It's believed that overheating is to blame for the issue.

Some of the readers who've been in touch have said that Apple has replaced their early-2011 MacBook Pro's logic board thanks to Apple Care, with some customers even claiming to have had their logic board replaced multiple times. However, most of those  with the three year's of warranty provided by AppleCare will be approaching the end of the protection plan, so are understandably concerned about what will happen once they are no longer covered.

We've reached out to Apple for a comment about the situation, but the company has yet to respond. Customers are keeping their fingers crossed for a replacement programme. We'll update this article as soon as we find out more.

In the past, Apple has offered replacement hard drives for iMacs containing 1TB Seagate hard drives that have been known to fail, replacement MagSafe adapters, iBook logic board replacements back in 2004, and, most recently, a MacBook Air flash storage drive replacement programme for June 2012 to June 2013 models.

Concerned owners of afflicted MacBooks have even set up a website on which they've been sharing their photographs, plus a Facebook page and a petition with more than 500 signatures.

Are you a MacBook Pro owner experiencing the issue? Let us know in the comments section below.