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Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

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Apr 12, 2001
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Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider).



The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's display. Some users reported that opening their MacBook Pro beyond a certain angle turns off the screen entirely. iFixit discovered that this was because the delicate flex cable which connects to the bottom of the display could wear out and break over time.

The issue has been the subject of multiple lawsuits against Apple, with the last one being filed in May. Since the issue often takes time to manifest, the affected ‌MacBook Pro‌ units can be outside of Apple's one-year warranty period when they start exhibiting symptoms, resulting in an out-of-warranty repair fee of up to $850.

Apple seemingly fixed the issue by extending the length of the flex cable by 2mm in the 2018 MacBook Pro. It also launched a free repair program in May 2019, but the program only applies to 13-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2016.

The first class action lawsuit sought restitution for all costs attributable to repairing or replacing the affected MacBook Pro units, and called for Apple to expand its repair program to cover the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The proposed class was defined as all persons within the United States who purchased a 2016 or newer MacBook Pro.

"Apple was aware of the issues with the backlight screen and the defective flex cable, in light of the comments posted by consumers on Apple's discussion forum and that those comments were deleted after they were posted," the new lawsuit reads.

The second class-action complaint argues for violation of competition, false advertising, and consumer fraud laws. Apple is also accused of violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and breach of express and implied warranty, in addition to fraudulent concealment and unjust enrichment.

Plaintiffs are seeking a range of relief measures, damages, and court fees. They also hope a judgment will compel Apple to identify and declare all defective MacBook Pros. As there are now two cases against Apple due to "flexgate," both of which are filed with the Northern District of California, it is likely that the cases will eventually be consolidated into one.

Article Link: Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro 'Flexgate' Lawsuit
 
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JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
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London, UK
I think the biggest issue is just how high the out of warranty repair fees are. If the repair was say, $50-100 then I genuinely don't think many people would be too miffed about it, but $850 is outrageous.

The cynical part of me has to suspect that Apple deliberately pushes their out of warranty repair fees sky-high to encourage people to simply buy a new device rather than repairing theirs. I have found when going to the genius bar before that I've been encouraged to consider just buying a new device instead of repairing the one I have.
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
708
579
What about iPad Pro 10.5 with a white dot above the home button



[automerge]1597931919[/automerge]
 
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GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
539
1,703
Colombia
Another day, another lawsuit. When will these money-grabbing fiends stop?

It is not just money grabbing. Look at Zone of Tech (long) video about this issue, he payed over 3000 dollars for his machine and was denied repair many times. Only months later he was given a replacement after posting a video on YouTube, within the box he found comments like "issued for advertising/PR purposes", so the technical request was never really properly addressed, he got his replacement because he was a Youtuber and it was bad publicity.
 
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WoodpeckerBaby

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
708
579
I think the biggest issue is just how high the out of warranty repair fees are. If the repair was say, $50-100 then I genuinely don't think many people would be too miffed about it, but $850 is outrageous.

The cynical part of me has to suspect that Apple deliberately pushes their out of warranty repair fees sky-high to encourage people to simply buy a new device rather than repairing theirs. I have found when going to the genius bar before that I've been encouraged to consider just buying a new device instead of repairing the one I have.
It's pretty common. I went in and they said you'd be paying 70% of retail to have this replaced, you are better off getting a new one.
 
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jameswilby

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2016
29
363
Personally had an issue with this on a 2016 15” MBP... even clearly remember being told by a ‘Genius’ in the store that it wasn’t possible for the issue to occur on 15” devices as the program only covered 13”. He was actually pretty rude and claimed it was likely to water damage
 
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dbc34

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2014
43
46
More lawsuits for Apple! When is it going to stop?
Amen. Came to say the same thing. Imagine if we quit hitting them with lawsuits that they have to spend money to defend. It should lead to lower prices because all that legal defense cost is passed on to the consumer in other ways. So ridiculous. Let your warranty cover repairs for several years and keep it moving.
 
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dguisinger

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
810
1,112
Sigh... maybe if Apple focussed on engineering the computers for reliability instead of shaving off another mm they'd avoid so many of these quality / reliability issues. I went through 3 keyboards on my 2018 MBP. I never asked for it to be 1mm thinner or begged them to get rid of 30 years of keyboard design history and experience to get a 1mm height savings for a machine that mostly stays on my desk.

-EDIT-

While we are on the topic of bad design decisions.... whoever decided to standardize on these USB3 C ports for everything... am I the only one who find the slightest bump causes a momentary disconnect? Its been consistant across more than one macbook pro for me....and doing so not only blacks out my monitors momentarly, but causes my ZFS storage pool over TB3 to go into an error state until I reboot.... whether it was the USB forum, Intel or Apple... I hate these ports.... they just arent physically secure enough for what they are handling
 
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vtrautia

macrumors member
Jan 19, 2015
40
69
This is not cool Apple.

Showing middle finger to customer who bought you faulty design laptop. Try to design your laptop properly in first place. Give customer free repair if its your fault Apple.Do not try to turn design flaw in repair center profit.
 
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nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,806
3,385
Another day, another lawsuit. When will these money-grabbing fiends stop?
No, Apple totally deserves to get sued for flexgate.

I have 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro affected by this design flaw. The computer was babied and used mostly as a desktop. And just randomly out of the blue, patches of dark spots along the bottom of the screen that I have to shell out $850 to get repaired.
 
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