Apple is the target of a class action lawsuit because of the faulty design of the keyboards of its MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Consumers have been complaining that the keyboards are having issues with becoming stuck. As a result, it renders the MacBook and MacBook Pros unusable. The keyboards have been dubbed “butterfly” in terms of design, with keys that are very recessed to make the Macs thinner than all of their predecessors.
The class action lawsuit was filed on Friday, May 11, 2018 in the Northern California District Court. The suit alleges that the butterfly style keyboards found in the 2015 to most current MacBook and 2016 to most current MacBook Pros are “prone to fail” when keys begin getting stuck and thus, don’t respond to the user’s touch.
Prior to the Apple lawsuit’s filing, there was a multitude of complaints from Mac users online. There was even a petition circulated that amassed 21,000 signatures to urge Apple to recall its MacBook and MacBook Pro models released since late 2015. The petition didn’t get the results the owners wanted and the Apple lawsuit was initiated.
The mechanism in the Mac models from the butterfly style keyboard replaced the scissor mechanism that is the norm to this day. The intention of the redesign was to make the keys more responsive when the user pressed them, but instead, the exact opposite happened.
The Apple lawsuit was filed on behalf of two MacBook Pro owners, Zixuan Rao of San Diego, California and Kyle Barbaro of Melrose, Massachusetts. The suit states that the keys in the butterfly style keyboard were constructed in such a way that even the smallest amount of dust accumulating under or around a key renders it completely unresponsive, which, in turn, makes the laptop unusable.
Additionally, the Apple lawsuit claims that thousands of consumers who own MacBook models from 2015 or later or MacBook Pro models from 2016 and later have experienced the issue. The complaint points to a number of online petitions, forum posts and comments on a variety of websites, including Reddit and Apple’s own Support Communities.
In spite of the issue with keyboards, Apple has continued to sell its MacBook and MacBook Pro models with the butterfly keyboard. The reason behind the change from the old scissor style to butterfly mechanism was to make the laptops thinner than even the company’s MacBook Air.
In Kyle Barbaro’s case, his MacBook Pro suffered the keyboard problem and he took the device to an Apple Store in September 2017. A Genius Bar tech took a look at his Mac and discovered that the space bar and caps lock key were unresponsive. The Mac was then sent in for repairs. However, after Barbaro got it back, he was only able to use it until December 2017. The space bar suffered the same problem as it originally had and the issue was clearly not limited to the original keyboard. When he brought the MacBook Pro back to the Genius Bar, the technician told him it would cost around $700 to have it repaired because his warranty had expired. Barbaro refused to pay and kept the laptop, which, to this day, remains defective and unusable.
Apple has not yet introduced a program or plan to repair the keyboard problems plaguing the MacBook and MacBook Pros. However, considering outrage over the iPhone battery throttling issue, it’s possible the company is coming up with one right this very moment. In the meantime, Apple might feel inclined to take action sooner rather than later, considering the class action lawsuit.
Learn more about Defective Product Lawsuits.