Last week we reported on a class-action lawsuit filed in Northern California District Court claiming that Apple is in violation of several consumer protection laws including the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, and others. The legal action was brought on by complaints that the keyboards on 2015 MacBooks and 2016 MacBook Pros were failing due to faulty key switches.
Now a second lawsuit was filed on Tuesday with the same court and with almost identical claims. The filing alleges that Apple is guilty of breaching express warranty, and is in violation of Magnuson-Moss, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and California business and civil codes.
The three primary plaintiffs represented in the case all have similar experiences with the keyboards in their Macs repeatedly failing over time. Like the other lawsuit, the problem has been deemed to be caused by Apple’s butterfly mechanism that it introduced in all MacBooks produced after 2015 and all MacBook Pros built after 2016.
The reason that this is such a big issue is that repairing the keyboard requires replacing the entire upper casing of the MacBook. This component consists of the keyboard and battery. Under warranty, it is not a problem as Apple will fix it for free. However, since they are only replacing it with the same faulty part that is bound to fail again, eventually users will find themselves in an out-of-warranty situation. Out of warranty, the repair runs about $700.
AppleInsider looked into the problem last month and found that the 2016 MacBook Pro’s keyboard failed twice as often as 2014 and 2015 models, which have scissor switches. The problem has also been brought up in numerous Reddit discussions and Apple Support Community complaints.
Apple has not admitted that the butterfly switches are defective, but it is clearly aware there is a problem since it has gone to the trouble of producing a support page explaining how to clean butterfly keyboards if they have sticky keys. It recommends using compressed air to blow dust and debris from beneath the key. While this has been seen to fix the problem, it has been only a temporary remedy with complete failure eventually resulting.
The lawsuit is looking for class certification, restitution, damages, and legal fees.