Owners of the MacBook Air M1 2020, costing upwards of $1000, report that the device overheats, causing throttling and loud fan noise. Numerous product reviews reiterate concerns over how the MacBook Air manages heat and how this affects fan noise and device throttling. One customer reported that their MacBook Air 2020 i3 reached 100°C before the fans reached 2500 RPM and the MacBook returned to 70°C. Users have also reported that the overheating may cause a blue or gray screen to appear when booting up, for which the only resolution is to get a new logic board which can be expensive without Applecare.
Apple Support offers a range of suggestions (including checking device storage and congested wi-fi networks), but for at least one customer none of these suggestions helped.
Apple had to recall a series of MacBook Pros sold between 2015 and 2017 for a similar issue. Some of those MacBook Pro models had batteries that overheated and posed a fire safety risk, such that flying with the MacBooks was banned. In April 2021, a judge found that Apple had knowingly sold defective Macbook Air Pro laptops.