Judge rules Apple 'knowingly sold' MacBook Pros with faulty 'Flexgate' displays

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,905   +760
Staff member
Facepalm: The one thing you can say about Apple is that it sure keeps its legal team busy. When it's not fighting with Epic and others over its App Store tax or fending off antitrust regulators, it's busily engaged in defending itself against class-action lawsuits.

On Thursday, the District Court judge presiding over the "flexgate" class-action suit against Apple ruled that the Cupertino company sold 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros with a screen defect. MacRumors notes, Judge Edward Davila's opinion was that "intensive pre-release testing" would have revealed the display to have a stress-related flaw in their flex cables.

Back in 2019, MacBook Pro users began complaining about a strange display issue that was causing a "stage-light" effect at the bottom of the screen. Other users report the display only working with the screen less than halfway lifted. It was determined that a flex cable for the backlighting was becoming stressed after repeated openings, causing it to fail.

At first, Apple denied the existence of a defect, and users with expired warranties had to cough up $600 for a screen repair. The issue was dubbed "Flexgate" in a petition to pressure Apple to address the problem. Cupertino finally acknowledged the problem in May 2019 when it initiated a free screen repair program for 2016 MacBook Pros as long as owners requested the repair within four years of purchase.

Apple still insisted that the defect was only present in "a very small percentage of 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro displays." However, users continued reporting having the issue in 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros made in 2016 and 2017.

The representative plaintiff in the class action, Mahan Taleshpour, claims that while Apple was denying the issue, it deleted posts from its support forums related to the defect to cover it up. Having already determined that testing would have revealed the flaw, Judge Davila stated that if Taleshpour's accusation is true, it would further serve to prove Apple's complicity.

"If Apple deleted comments on its website from consumers complaining about display issues attributable to the alleged defect, that suggests that Apple had knowledge of the alleged defect, superior to that of plaintiffs or potential class members."

Apple's defense team said that the accusations of knowingly selling laptops with faulty screens were based on "false assumptions." It contends that Taleshpour had used his 2017 MacBook without issue for three years after purchase. Stress testing, typically conducted with a specific number of openings and closings, would not necessarily have revealed the problem as consumer usage can vary.

Permalink to story.

 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,483   +5,073
Hope they get nailed to a the cross.
If it comes to that, Apple will make its own version of the cross. It'll be shiny-white.

Oh the wonders of the modern tech...
4c53204164b6ad9663b7778111d293e5.jpg
 
Last edited:

terzaerian

Posts: 766   +1,097
Apple's hardware only looks to have quality on a superficial, surface-level basis. At the micro level it's slipshod and lazy, hardly better than the "bargain bin" Android or PC devices it competes against. You don't achieve a trillion dollar market cap sparing no expense for the end user. I expect we'll probably start seeing interesting failures in their new super-efficient, super-powerful M1s in a year, maybe sooner.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,283   +2,482
TechSpot Elite
If Apple didn't give the illusion of "perfect engineering" and "it just works", I wouldn't care as much. But man, they certainly know how to get things wrong and deny till the last moment (making millions from clueless customer fixes)...

If you want to see a no-stakes fix of it (and some explanation of why it's shoddy):
 

JKnight

Posts: 114   +131
Apple's hardware only looks to have quality on a superficial, surface-level basis. At the micro level it's slipshod and lazy, hardly better than the "bargain bin" Android or PC devices it competes against. You don't achieve a trillion dollar market cap sparing no expense for the end user. I expect we'll probably start seeing interesting failures in their new super-efficient, super-powerful M1s in a year, maybe sooner.

It is always about the shareholders. They will screw over the customers and employees.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 410   +237
Apple's defense team said that the accusations of knowingly selling laptops with faulty screens were based on "false assumptions."
This says everything about Apple that needs to be said. It's become a rubbish company for people who can't think for themselves...
 

theruck

Posts: 289   +133
Apple's hardware only looks to have quality on a superficial, surface-level basis. At the micro level it's slipshod and lazy, hardly better than the "bargain bin" Android or PC devices it competes against. You don't achieve a trillion dollar market cap sparing no expense for the end user. I expect we'll probably start seeing interesting failures in their new super-efficient, super-powerful M1s in a year, maybe sooner.
poor boy, apple does not compete against bin devices, they set trends everybody tries to follow especially with build quality on the high end devices. take Lenovo X1 high end laptop and search for its problems over their generation just as an example. or sony vaio with their noisy fans or dell with their lousy rj45 port which needs a mainboard replacement all the time
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,478   +3,315
TechSpot Elite
This is what happens when the only support you get from Apple is: "it's not our fault". Deleting support forum posts is completely irrational and this happens very often. You are more likely to get your post deleted than to get an answer to your problem.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 766   +1,097
poor boy, apple does not compete against bin devices, they set trends everybody tries to follow especially with build quality on the high end devices. take Lenovo X1 high end laptop and search for its problems over their generation just as an example. or sony vaio with their noisy fans or dell with their lousy rj45 port which needs a mainboard replacement all the time
Your laptop's hinge literally saws through the soldered-on display cable as part of regular use.
If you want to see a no-stakes fix of it (and some explanation of why it's shoddy):

Could Apple fanboys be more deluded shills, comparing "noisy fans" to something so colossally inept?