Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit over the recent redesign of the keyboards in its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops.
Beginning with the 2015 MacBooks and 2016 MacBook Pros, Apple introduced the “butterfly” keyboard. The mechanisms beneath each key were designed to be thinner and to apply more even pressure. The result was supposed to be a more responsive keyboard with a lower profile. However, some users have been encountering issues with some keys becoming unresponsive or registering multiple keystrokes.
The lawsuit alleges that the problem has affected thousands of users and points to 20 cases that it found on Reddit, Apple Support Community, and MacRumors Forums. It also notes a petition to recall the defective keyboards that already has over 22,000 signatures.
The complaint also claims that Apple has been aware of the problem with its MacBook keyboards since shortly after the launch of the 2015 models but has failed to disclose the defect to customers.
“Apple knew that the MacBook is defective at or before the time it began selling the affected models to the public. Complaints of keyboard failures began to come in shortly after the 2015 MacBook was launched. Despite awareness of the keyboard defect, Apple equipped future model MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops with the butterfly keyboard, and continued selling these laptops to consumers at premium prices.”
Some customers have reported that Genius Bar technicians have been at a loss as to what is causing the problems with the usual suspect being “dust beneath the keys.” Repairs have been shown to be short-term affairs with the same problem cropping up multiple times. What’s worse is that an out-of-warranty repair of the keyboard reportedly runs about $700.
The lawsuit filed in Northern California district court claims that Apple is in violation of a number of consumer protection laws including the California Unfair Competition Law, the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. It also charges the tech giant with breach of express warranty, breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and fraudulent concealment. It is asking for punitive damages, reimbursement to consumers of all costs associated with repair of the faulty product, and public disclosure of the defect.
Apple has not commented on the suit, nor has it launched a repair program for the keyboards, which is a typical tactic when Cupertino encounters significant public pressure. We’ll have to see if the lawsuit is enough to trigger action.
Lead Image via Medium