Recap: In 2015, Apple introduced its "butterfly switch" in the keyboards of MacBooks. The following year it began using them in Pro models. Now the mechanisms are failing left and right at the tune of $700 for an out-of-warranty repair. Apple has done nothing to remedy the problem.

As we have reported, Apple has already been hit with two class-action lawsuits regarding the faulty butterfly switch it uses in its MacBook keyboards. This week Cupertino was served with a third class action regarding the problem mechanisms.

The first two suits were almost identical, charging Apple with willful violation of several consumer protection laws including Magnuson-Moss, Song-Beverly, and several California civil codes. While the charges were nearly the same, the damages sought were different with the first asking for replacement keyboards using a different mechanism and refund of the original purchase. The second was seeking monetary and punitive damages to be determined by a jury.

This third class action charges Apple with eight complaints that mirror allegations from the first two. According to Patently Apple, the plaintiffs, Zixuan Rao and Kyle Barbaro, claim Apple is guilty of the following (first two suits with same charges indicated in brackets):

  • Violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act [1]
  • Violation of Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 [2]
  • Fraudulent Concealment [1]
  • Breach of Written Warranty (Express Warranty) [1&2]
  • Breach of Implied Warranty [1]
  • Violation of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301 [1&2]
  • Violation of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301 [1&2]
  • Breach of Contract/Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing [1]

The class action is asking the courts for "monetary, declaratory and equitable relief [from] Apple."

The big charge in this case (as well as the first filing) it the fraudulent concealment allegation. This complaint essentially says that Apple knowingly hid the problem and knew that it violated the law, thereby defrauding its customers.

A guilty verdict on this charge could bring severe monetary consequences against the Cupertino company as a judge or jury would impose higher punitive damages for the willful violations.

Apple has remained silent since the first suit was filed three weeks ago. With public and legal pressure continuing to mount, I find it very surprising the company has not responded in some way by now.