Law Firms Consider 'Error 53' Lawsuits Against Apple as Some Stores Authorized for Repairs

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Several law firms are considering lawsuits against Apple following news that the company disables iPhone 6 models that have third-party repairs that affect Touch ID, reports The Guardian. The "Error 53" controversy started last week when news circulated about customers who have had their iPhones disabled and rendered unusable by a mysterious "error 53" message.

    It turns out Apple disables the iPhones of customers who have had unauthorized repairs on their devices. As explained in a thorough post from iFixit, a repair made by a third-party service using non-original components cannot pass a Touch ID validation check because mismatched parts don't sync up properly.

    According to an Apple spokesperson, when the iPhone's parts can't be properly validated because of a repair done to a component affecting the Touch ID sensor, the error message is triggered in an intentional effort to keep Touch ID and the secure enclave that stores fingerprint information safe. Damaged phones also have the potential to give the error.
    A UK barrister told The Guardian disabling iPhones "could potentially be viewed as an offense" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, which covers the destruction of property, and a Seattle-based law firm, PCVA said it wants to bring a class action lawsuit against Apple, calling on affected customers to get in contact. PCVA is planning to represent customers for free and has outlined the issue on its website, suggesting Apple is violating consumer laws by forcing customers to use Apple-sanctioned repair services.
    Apple may be planning to proactively head off lawsuits and assuage customer outrage. MacRumors has heard from a retail source that certain Apple Stores have received the go ahead from Apple to replace third-party screens and other third-party components to resolve the error 53 issue. The standard out-of-warranty fee is charged for the repairs and the replacement of non-genuine parts with Apple parts is limited to those affected by the error.

    It is not yet clear if all Apple Stores have been authorized to repair error 53 iPhones as Apple's only official statement is that it's a security measure required to prevent fraudulent Touch ID sensors from being installed.

    Update 2/11/15: PCVA has followed through with plans to sue Apple, levying a class action suit against the company.

    Article Link: Law Firms Consider 'Error 53' Lawsuits Against Apple as Some Stores Authorized for Repairs
  2. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
  3. jdillings macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2015
  4. MLVC macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2015
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
  5. TheRealTVGuy macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    I may be incorrect, but I believe that in the terms of use Apple states using unauthorized 3rd party repair shops may void your warranty and lead to unexpected results, even those rendering the device unusable.

    Solution? DON'T utilize unauthorized 3rd parties!
  6. Oblivious.Robot macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2014
    Civil War : Judgement time!

    That's right folks, it's not just Cap vs Iron Man and Batman vs Superman!
    So get some popcorn 'cause the shows 'bout to start! :D
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Hartford, CT
    Even if the repair facility is does that guarantee their not skimping out and using 3rd party parts?
  8. kendallb macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009
    Apple is doing the right thing not allowing bogus finger print sensors to work on their devices. They should allow third parties who are authorized to do it also; it is unclear if authorized repair places are affected or not.

    And it was a huge mistake to brick the phone on OS upgrades. The customers should be notified in advance when they first turn on a device with a bogus sensor that Touch ID and Apple Pay are disabled, and you cannot update the OS.

    Honestly I would not use a third party place myself anymore. I had my screen replaced by a place in the mall for $100, and the screen was garbage.
  9. RedOrchestra macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2012
    Not surprised Apple is backing down on this ... really could be a PR nightmare.
  10. millypede macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2004
    Sorry, first the first time in quite a while, I am backing Apple on this one, this is stupid.
  11. GeneralChang macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2013
    Oh, we're using an from 1971? I'm sure everyone involved in that original law was totally thinking about our current crop of 2016 smartphones in 1971. That was only, oh, 45 years ago.
  12. BlendedFrog macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2010
    Let me ask you this: Should I have my barber fix my car's transmission?

    That would be NO! And if I did, I wouldn't expect Honda to fix it when it broke or didn't work...why...because my barber isn't qualified nor is he an authorized mechanic for Honda. The same thing applies here. People take their iPhones to un-authorized retailers to get it fixed and the complain when Apple disables the device?

    So, the lesson of the day...take your **** to the right people if you want it to work.
  13. AppleFan4Life83 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2013
    Geez...It says right in the headline that some of the stores were authorized. You didn't even have to read through the entire article to see that...:rolleyes:
  14. kdarling, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016

    kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Cabin by a lake with leaves softly falling
    With few exceptions, it is illegal in the US and apparently much of the EU, to require that a consumer use only the manufacturer's parts or service centers.

    That's why anyone can add non-Apple memory to their Mac, and why anyone can use a non-Ford battery in their car.

    And that's also why the Apple Warranty only says that DAMAGE caused by such activities can void the warranty. So one question is, did the third party part cause the damage. Or was it Apple's OS change.

    Perhaps Apple should provide a service to re-link sensors, just like locksmiths have to program automobile key fobs.
  15. modemthug macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    So, according to this logic, if you take your new Lexus to a non-dealership repair shop and they put non-factory aftermarket replacement parts on your car, Lexus is liable when something goes wrong?
  16. sjinsjca macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2008
    These are security-related items that are being replaced by those from unknown vendors. A very bad idea.

    Consider: your TouchID does more than just open your phone. It also authenticates ApplePay transactions, and many other apps depend on the integrity of TouchID for authentication purposes. Off the top of my head, my own phone uses TouchID authentication to open 1Password (which contains ALL my accounts and passwords), several financial and health applications, and so on. Not to mention four credit cards stored in my Wallet.

    If my TouchID were compromised, I'm not entirely convinced that bricking my phone is the worst-case scenario!
  17. carrrrrlos macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2010
    It’s all about the money - which they can make more of if only they are allowed to repair *anything* on any Apple device.
  18. stopthenonsense macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2015
    Spring, TX
    This is ludicrous. If Apple didn't protect against this vulnerability, they would be on the hook for fraudulent CC charges and probably identity theft. Protection of the secure enclave is one of the biggest selling points of iOS.
  19. AppleFan4Life83 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2013
    And again, read the headline! It clearly says "...Some Stores Authorized For Repairs"
  20. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
  21. djcerla macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2015
    Alternate universe headline:

    Law firms consider suing Apple after malicious third-party home buttons lead to widespread Apple Pay theft.
  22. Jsameds macrumors 68020

    Apr 22, 2008
    And in a parallel universe people's bank accounts get emptied due to bogus 3rd party TouchID sensors, and Apple gets sued.
  23. DFierce macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2011
    With Apple here. If that enclave wasn't so secure. People would lose their minds. Greedy lawyers.
  24. oneMadRssn, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016

    oneMadRssn macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    It has nothing to do with bogus fingerprint sensors. Rather it has to do with matching fingerprint sensor and logic board. If you buy two identical iphones, and swap their screens (with fingerprint sensors attached), the phones will give this error and become unusuable. Even though both phones have 100% genuine and untampered with fingerprint sensors.

    This detail is important - it has nothing to do with authenticity or security of the fingerprint sensor. In theory, the original fingerprint sensor could be tampered with and it would not throw this error. The error only comes up there the phone detects that a fingerprint sensor different from the original one is attached to the logic board.
  25. AutoUnion39, Feb 8, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016

    AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    This is ludicrous... There are so many security concerns due to this. TouchID basically has direct access to your bank cards and such.

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