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A nationwide class action lawsuit filed against Apple in Northern California court this week accuses the company of knowingly concealing a defect with a display-related flex cable on recent 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

macbook-pro-flexgate.jpg

As discovered by repair website iFixit last year, some MacBook Pro models released in 2016 and 2017 have experienced issues with uneven backlighting caused by a delicate flex cable that can wear out and break after repeated opening and closing of the display. Impacted notebooks can exhibit uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen, which has been described as a "stage light" effect, and the backlighting system can eventually fail entirely.

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.

"Imagine spending more than $2,500 on a laptop only for it to fail shortly after the manufacturer's warranty expires," said PARRIS Law Firm attorney R. Rex Parris. "What's even more appalling is Apple requiring customers to spend an additional $600 to $850 to replace the screen."

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.

ifixit-flexgate-cable.jpeg
iFixit found the 2018 MacBook Pro flex cable on the left to be 2mm longer

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

Related Guide: "Flexgate" Display Issues Affecting 2016 MacBook Pro and Later

Article Link: Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over 'Flexgate' Issue With MacBook Pro Displays
 
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Ron21

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2007
937
673
This, the keyboard issues and the expanded battery issues, all should be covered free of charge for any Macbooks impacted.

 

Expos of 1969

Contributor
Aug 25, 2013
3,859
7,352
Do we really need to say what’s going to happen?
No, but let's say it anyway. Apple gets away with no penalty or a tiny slap on the wrist for yet again shafting its customers, conducting business in a shameful way and adding more embarrassment to what used to be a reputable company. You won't agree, but continue salivating over your Apple shares and smile.
 

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 601
Nov 8, 2008
4,653
2,926
Florida, U.S.A.
These are the reasons why I have not purchased a new MacBook. Last thing I want is to spend 3 grand and end up with a lemon.
My 2007 also had an issue with the display ribbon cable. After 2 - 3 months, it started shorting out when moving the display and causing the Mac to turn off. I took it to an Apple Authorized Repair Center, they replaced the display. Problem continued. Brought it back, same thing. After the third time failing, I repaired it myself and lasted me a good 8 years. And all I had to do is put a small piece of electrical tape. Insane!
 

JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
9,753
17,141
No, but let's say it anyway. Apple gets away with no penalty or a tiny slap on the wrist for yet again shafting its customers, conducting business in a shameful way and adding more embarrassment to what used to be a reputable company. You won't agree, but continue salivating over your Apple shares and smile.

No, we typically see Apple finally respond to a lawsuit with a service program.

For example, it took class action for bendgate on iPhone 6 and the butterfly keyboard service programs to be launched.
 

Expos of 1969

Contributor
Aug 25, 2013
3,859
7,352
No, we typically see Apple finally respond to a lawsuit with a service program.

For example, it took class action for bendgate on iPhone 6 and the butterfly keyboard service programs to be launched.
You are correct. However, very sad that they only react when caught. They know damn well when they are building these that they are cutting corners, doing things that will ultimately cause problems. What a disgraceful way to operate.
 

NickName99

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2018
946
2,752
2016-2018 MacBooks were an absolute mess

The 2018 models were less of a mess, with the final revision of the butterfly keyboard and the longer internal display connecting cable. I picked up a relatively cheap secondhand 2018 MacBook Pro 15” early last year and it’s served me well without any issues.

Edit: I purchased my used 2018 knowing it would have coverage on the keyboard into 2021. I’ll probably sell it on eBay by then and pick up a used 16” 8-core model, more for the added performance than for the new keyboard. I use an external keyboard 90% of the time, along with a 27” 4K monitor and eGPU.
 
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justperry

macrumors G5
Aug 10, 2007
12,345
9,512
I'm a rolling stone.
Why is Apple the only computer manufacturer expected to repair out of warranty?

Depends where you're from, here we have no issues getting it replaced, for instance, if I buy an expensive item it should last for a minimum period of time, lets say 5 years, example, I buy a wasmachine, costs me €1400, that wasmachine should not break in at least 3-4 years.
You're just unlucky to live in the states...assuming you live there.
 

justperry

macrumors G5
Aug 10, 2007
12,345
9,512
I'm a rolling stone.
You are correct. However, very sad that they only react when caught. They know damn well when they are building these that they are cutting corners, doing things that will ultimately cause problems. What a disgraceful way to operate.

I disagree, sometimes mistakes happen like the flex cable being too short.
But...they should admit it, they do that on a few products but sometimes they are slow or just see too few issue with that product, not worth doing a recall.
 
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Naaaaak

macrumors 6502a
Mar 26, 2010
637
2,068
And if it rains on the same day you buy an Apple product there will be a class action against Apple. More lawyers make money off of Apple than other companies. Good thing that cars never break also

My car has had recalls that were fixed whenever I took it in for maintenance. Covered by the manufacturer. No lawsuit prodding needed.

Meanwhile, Apple has sold me:
  • Screens with severe image retention (Retain Gate)
  • Screens with image coating problems (Stain Gate)
  • Screens with a warped image at the bottom (Flex Gate)
  • Defective keyboards on all laptops over a 5 year period (Butterfly Gate)
Severe usability issues that required me to pay them more to fix the issue or wait until they acknowledged that they did wrong.

What happened to do the right thing?
 

AxiomaticRubric

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2010
899
1,051
On Mars, Praising the Omnissiah
Why is Apple the only computer manufacturer expected to repair out of warranty?

That's not quite the point of the case. The prosecution is trying to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Apple was aware of a serious defect that doesn't manifest until well past warranty expiration.

The high fees for repairing the defect for certain models are in effect a form of extortion if Apple had foreknowledge.
 
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