Apple's Faulty MacBook Laptop Keyboard Results in Class-Action Lawsuit

Apple's getting sued by MacBook owners over keyboard failures

Not everyone loved this "reinvention", however, and now, Apple is facing a class action lawsuit over it. The lawsuit claims that small amounts of dust can make the keyboard unresponsive (a common complaint among MacBook users, especially on social media), but that Apple kept using them anyway. The suit, filed in the Northern District Court of California, cites forum complaints going back to 2015, and substantially describes the difficulties of two named plaintiffs, one of whom experienced a failed keyboard after only one month. He took the laptop to the Genius Bar in April where he was told the keyboard could be fixed under the one year warranty. It was brought by Girard Gibbs, a San Francisco-based law firm that has battled with Apple several times in the past, including filing a class-action suit centered on the iPod's "diminishing battery capacity". MacBook users have even signed a petition urging the company to recall the devices that were released after late 2016. They are also asking for Apple to reimburse the fix amount and replace the laptops.

Apple introduced the butterfly mechanism with its 12-inch MacBook in 2015 with Phil Schiller advertising the new low-profile switches as both more responsive (four times more) and robust than traditional scissor-type components. Later ported the design to the MacBook Pro which was launched in 2016.

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As typing is the keyboard's primary input for the laptops, the plaintiffs argue that when a keys become stuck on the MacBook or MacBook Pro the machines, which cost upwards of £1,249, become "unsuitable for its ordinary and intended use". It represents 2015 or later MacBook and 2016 or later MacBook Pro owners, and claims they are "defective" and prone to collecting dust and debris around the key mechanisms. The lawsuit adds that those no longer covered by their warranties must pay $400 to $700 for repairs. They are demanding Apple to publicly acknowledge the design issues with its butterfly keyboard. Apple has not directly acknowledged the problem. The plaintiffs are seeking damages and legal fees, and demand that Apple admit to the design flaw and cover all costs for remedying or replacing the defective computers. Unlike other laptops for professionals, such as the ThinkPad (which had a butterfly keyboard of a different sort), the entire keyboard is bonded with the top case, requiring full replacement.

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