According to a news report by CNet, a class-action complaint was filed against Apple because of issues with the MacBook keyboard issues. According to the complaint, people who bought the MacBook or MacBook Pro that came equipped with the butterfly keyboard have been facing a constant threat of non-responsive keys as well as keyboard failure. According to the complainants, Apple did not alert them about this issue. This lawsuit has been filed in Northern California’s District Court.
One plaintiff, Zixuan Rao, said he bought a MacBook Pro in January and just one month later started facing problems with his keyboard. After trying to fix his laptop on his own, Rao finally took it to the Apple Store, where he was told that he could use his warranty to have his computer repaired, however, it would take one week to get the job done.
Another plaintiff, Kyle Barbaro, faced similar issues but was told that he would need to pay $700 to get his computer repaired since it would out of the warranty period.
The Butterfly switch was introduced in 2015, first on the 12-inch MacBook. This mechanism was meant to be more stable, comfortable as well as more responsive than the older scissor mechanism. Unfortunately, many users did not feel that the changes made were positive.
According to Techradar, reports from users say that the keyboard design, which was tweaked in 2017, is so fragile that just a small speck of dust or debris can cause it to stop functioning. In fact, according to data the Apple Insider collated, keyboard failure rates have more than doubled since the new Butterfly design was introduced. According to the stats, about 11.8% of all repairs have been because of keyboard failures.
Several customers complained that they have had to go up to a week without their MacBooks while they were being repaired. According to some customers, Apple not just replaced the unresponsive key, but also had to replace a large part of their computer. If the laptop was under warranty then customers could get this done free of cost, however, an out-of-warranty repair could cost as much as $700.
Critics of the company aver that the tech giant has not been very responsive about this issue. Apple has not directly acknowledged the problem. Instead, the company’s customer service team posted instructions on their website, explaining how the MacBook’s keyboard could be cleaned using a can of compressed air, which would help resolve the issue. However, customers have stated that this fix also doesn’t work.
This lawsuit states that this problem is present in MacBooks manufactured in 2015 or later as well as in MacBook Pros that were made in 2016 or later, and that thousands of customers have been impacted by this technical problem. An online petition asking Apple to replace the faulty keyboard already has 19,000 signatures.
Apple does have a 1 year warranty period, during which time if users face such a problem, a keyboard exchange can be done free of cost. However, according to this lawsuit, that warranty is not enough as the core functionality of these laptops has been impacted.
Plaintiffs are accusing Apple of breach of the implied warranty, a breach of the covenant of good faith, a breach of the express warranty, fraudulent concealment, a violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act, the violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law as well as the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
The lawsuit is seeking legal fees, damages and is also demanding that Apple should publically disclose the flaw in the keyboard’s design and also pay to repair or replace the flawed units. In terms of replacement, the demand includes the reimbursement for buying a replacement laptop.