Apple hit with class action suit over MacBook, MacBook Pro keyboard failures

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Apple needs to make rounds to the court. A Federal Court class action lawsuit was filed on Friday against Apple over alleged defected keyboard designs which were incorporated in MacBook models from 2015. The lawsuit claims that the company knew about the flaw at or before the product was launched publically.

The complaint Lodged in the Northern District Court of California claims there were multiple flaws with the company’s keyboard which were launched with MacBook and MacBook Pro from 2015 onwards. Both laptops feature the company’s butterfly keyboard mechanism, an ultra low-profile switch advertised as both more responsive and robust than traditional scissor-type components.

Thousands of user reportedly complained about the issue they faced.  The suit claims that the keyboard is designed in such a way that it resists very little amount of debris or dust. This leads to unregistered keystrokes making the machine useless. Many users were forced to take their laptop for a trip to the service center. There were certain users whose laptops were out of warranty and it cost them dearly. The average price of replacing a malfunctioning keyboard is somewhere near $700, too much to ask for but that’s what the users had to face. Apple has designed their keyboard in such a way that if you go for replacing it, you need to also replace the upper panel and several other attached components.

Apple first unveiled the butterfly mechanism keyboard with its 12-inch MacBook in 2015. Releasing their newest technology during the function, Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing said that the new keyboards are “much more precise, accurate and are 4 times more stable than the older scissor mechanism.”

Just as the report about the class action broke out, a change.org petition, which has garnered a massive 17k signatures in just over a week, has called on Apple to recall all MacBook with butterfly switch keyboards, citing that the hardware design is flawed inherently while manufacturing.

However, Apple seems to be aware of the issue and seems to have acknowledged the problem. But of course, they weren’t open about it. A support document issued to some of the authorized service providers talks about a method of cleaning the keyboard with a can of compressed air. This technique doesn’t really have a great success rate as per those who have faced the problem.

The suits assert major breaches by Apple which include, breach of express warranty, breach of the covenant of good faith, breach of the implied warranty, violation of the Magnuson-Moss and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Acts, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and fraudulent concealment.

The suit not only wants Apple to publicly disclose the flaw in the keyboard, it seeks damages legal fees and replace the defective units. The suit also demands reimbursement to the users who have purchased the replacement keyboards on the defected laptops.

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