Apple Facing Class-Action Lawsuit Over Faulty MacBook Keyboards
Apple has been hit with a class action lawsuit over “defective” keyboards in the recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The lawsuit alleges that the butterfly-switch keyboards used in these models are prone to fail, resulting in non responsive keys, rendering one of the most essential functions of the computers all but useless.
The lawsuit was filed in Northern California district court by law firm Girard Gibbs LLP on behalf of MacBook Pro owners Zixuan Rao and Kyle Barbaro, residents of San Diego and Melrose, Massachusetts. Both plaintiffs experienced key failures a short time after purchasing them, and allege that Apple knew of the problem, but continued to use them in future models of their laptops.
In the complaint, it notes that the butterfly-mechanism keyboards can become unresponsive when small amounts of dust or debris are introduced to them. It states, “Apple’s butterfly keyboard and MacBook are produced and assembled in such a way that when minimal amounts of dust or debris accumulate under or around a key, keystrokes fail to register. […] As a result of the defect, consumers who purchased a MacBook face a constant threat of non-responsive keys and accompanying keyboard failure. When one or more of the keys on the keyboard fail, the MacBook can no longer serve its core function: typing.”
The lawsuit alleges that “thousands of consumers have experienced this defect”, bringing forth many examples of users complaining of the same problems relating to their unresponsive keyboards. In addition, an open petition on Change.org has gathered over 24,000 signatures in a call to hold Apple accountable for these defects.
The plaintiffs in the case are seeking damages and legal fees, along with demanding that Apple publicly acknowledge the widespread failure of their butterfly keyboards. They are also asking for Apple to fix or replace faulty keyboards, including offering full reimbursement for replacement laptops.
Apple states that due to the slim design of the laptop, it was necessary to include a butterfly-mechanism keyboards, in order to maintain a slim profile which has long been the aesthetic standard of their products. Apple claims the keyboard is “four times more stable” despite its space-saving build. However, according to data collected by AppleInsider, they found “the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard failing twice as often in the first year of use as the 2014 or 2015 MacBook Pro models.” They also added that the 2017 model of the MacBook Pro is fairing slightly better, “but not by a lot.”
While Apple does provide a one-year warranty on the laptops, along with a support page that details how to properly clean the keyboard, the company has done little to take steps in mitigating the situation or preventing the keyboard from failing at all.
If you are an owner of a model year 2015 MacBook or a MacBook Pro in or after 2016, then you are eligible to join the class action lawsuit.