Apple was hit with a class action lawsuit in May over the design of its butterfly style keyboards featured on its MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The suit, filed in Northern California, complains about faulty key switches in the keyboards, specifically keys becoming stuck and virtually unusable, rendering the laptops themselves useless. The problem lies with the 2015 version of the MacBook and 2016 MacBook Pro models.
More recently, a second Apple class action lawsuit was filed that makes the exact same complaints. The suit claims that Apple breached its warranty and was filed by three people. Each plaintiff alleges that they have had similar experiences with the butterfly style keyboards on their laptops with keys failing to properly function. The butterfly switches under the keys malfunctioned after even a minimal amount of dust or debris got underneath them. In some cases, the switches can even break and keys can come off from the keyboard. The issue has made it necessary for the three individuals to have their Mac keyboards repaired. The actual repairing process requires a replacement of the casing of the top portion of the MacBooks, including not only the keyboards but batteries as well.
If a MacBook or MacBook Pro is still under warranty, Apple will fix the problem for free. However, the repairs have been shown to be only a temporary solution as the malfunction of keys only starts up again with the new keyboard. At that point, the user can no longer have repairs or replacements done by the Genius Bar at an Apple Store for free and have to pay out of their pocket. This is not cheap and in fact, costs $700 when the repair is performed out of warranty.
The complaint from the second Apple class action lawsuit was also filed with the North California district court. It claims that the butterfly switch keyboards featured on the 2015 MacBook and 2016 MacBook Pros take on an even lower profile than the traditional scissor style but barely move when someone types. It states that, due to the low profile of the switches, it’s much easier for dust or debris to accumulate under the keys and that, when that happens, it renders them non-functional.
The class action suit also claims that thousands of consumers have struggled with this problem and that there have been complaints made online on Reddit, various petitions and forums. There was even a video made of the issue that was uploaded to YouTube about the frustration of a Mac spacebar becoming stuck and the device itself unusable. The complaint says that Apple is aware of the issue, or should have been aware, and should have taken action.
One of the plaintiffs in the new apple class action lawsuit bought his 13-inch MacBook Pro in July 2017. He followed instructions that Apple provided in the event that a key became unresponsive after his R, T and Enter keys began having problems. He used compressed air, but the issue worsened. In early 2018, he was at his wit’s end and brought his Mac to an Apple Store in Sherman Oaks. Some time after having his keyboard replaced, he noticed a problem with the spacebar.
The class action suit further accuses Apple of violating the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The plaintiffs are demanding punitive damages in an amount still to be determined and reimbursement for their defective devices. A jury trial will take place in the Northern California District Court.
The two apple class action suits are believed to eventually be combined into a single lawsuit. Learn more about Class Action Lawsuits.