Apple Hit With Second Class Action Lawsuit Over 'Defective' Keyboards in Recent MacBook, MacBook Pro Models

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 23, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A second class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over problematic keyboards in recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models.


    Like the first lawsuit last week, this complaint alleges that small amounts of dust or debris accumulating on 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016-and-later MacBook Pro keyboards can render the butterfly switch mechanism underneath individual keys non-functional, according to court documents obtained by MacRumors.

    In some cases, the butterfly switches can also break entirely, resulting in the affected key becoming detached from the keyboard.

    MacRumors first highlighted customer complaints about the 2016 MacBook Pro keyboard over a year ago, including non-functional keys, strange high-pitched sounds on some keys, and keys with a non-uniform feel.

    An excerpt from the complaint, filed on Tuesday by law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe in Northern California district court:
    Much of this second lawsuit echoes the first, including the proposed class:
    The complaint alleges that "thousands of consumers" have suffered from these issues, with customer complaints prevalent across blog posts, tweets, comments on forums like MacRumors, an ongoing petition that has received over 27,000 signatures, and even a satirical song and video.

    That video is "I Am Pressing The Spacebar and Nothing Is Happening," uploaded to YouTube by song-a-day musician Jonathan Mann.

    The complaint adds that Apple is "aware of" or "should have known" about the defect through either pre-release product testing, customer complaints, or a combination of the two, but has "at all times failed to disclose that the keyboard is defective" because repairs and replacements prove to be costly.
    This complaint, like the first, acknowledges that Apple provides a support document with instructions to clean the keyboard of a MacBook or MacBook Pro with "an unresponsive key or "a key that feels different than the other keys," but notes that the steps "will not permanently repair the defect."


    Instead, many customers have to resort to the Genius Bar. In the United States, Apple charges an out-of-warranty fee of $700 to replace the keyboard on affected MacBook Pro models, as the process requires replacing the entire top case assembly, the aluminum enclosure housing the keyboard, trackpad, and speaker grilles.

    The complaint shares an experience had by Joey Baruch, one of three named plaintiffs alongside Remy Turner and Christopher Martin:
    Apple is accused of, among other things, violating California's Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and breach of express warranty.

    The complaint demands that Apple pays punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial, publicly discloses the defect, and reimburses customers for all costs attributable to the defective MacBook or MacBook Pro keyboards. A jury trial has been demanded in Northern California district court.

    Given the overlapping claims, it is likely that the complaints regarding the keyboards will eventually be consolidated into one class action lawsuit.

    Article Link: Apple Hit With Second Class Action Lawsuit Over 'Defective' Keyboards in Recent MacBook, MacBook Pro Models
  2. typographer macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2016
    Don't worry, Apple will make a giant touch pad and remove all the keyboards like removing CD-rom, ports..
  3. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    Guess I am lucky not to have any problems with my keyboard -- except missing a better key travel and the pointlessness of the touch bar.
  4. oldtime, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018

    oldtime macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    Good. Hopefully these lawsuits point to a keyboard redesign in the next MBP. I actually think Apple (they're not stupid) was expecting them to come eventually, so I wouldn't expect it to hold up the release of the new MBP.

    At the very least Apple will likely be on the hook for all out of warranty fixes on the 2016/17 machines.
  5. brian3uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2016
    I tried to like the new keyboard but once a key got stuck, and then another, and then the first one again, I realized why people were complaining. I'm a light user and don't eat while using it but lordy are those keys finicky. Bad design Apple.
  6. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    Good. Don't let Apple get away with building **** and then charging premium prices for it. If I spend $2,799 on a 15-inch MBP for similar specs to a $1,499 XPS 15/insert other system here, I at the very least expect the MacBook to be as durable as the $1,499 computer if not moreso.
  7. ghostface147 macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2008
    The 2015 model is still on sale. That's the last good one. All regular ports and regular keyboard.
  8. jay_app macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2004
    Class action lawsuits are about making money for lawyers. If they win they make millions, the people “wronged” get dollars.
  9. IWantItThatWay Suspended

    Apr 26, 2009
    There's nothing wrong. The keyboard isn't defective - it's just food debris get under the mechanical keyboard and the keys stop from being pressed down.

    4 people claim compressed air isn't fixing that and are inflating the numbers to make it seem like a bigger problem than it is.

    This "law firm" has a history of suing corporations for BS, and then running off with all the money after the settlement. We need tort reform in the USA to stop these troll law firms.
  10. daveup2bat macrumors member


    Sep 1, 2009
    Another good reason not to upgrade my 2012 Mac Book Pro Retina...
  11. busyscott macrumors regular


    Sep 29, 2015
    These greedy lawyers are ust looking for a quick payout!

    ...excuse the typo, I have a couple keys that aren't functional.
  12. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    There's also the MacBook Air, at least for now.
  13. Soccertess macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2005
    That song is awesome!

    Tim should make that song available on itunes.

    I guess it's the risk when you are an early adopter, just sucks for those who put so much money down. I wish Apple designed their products for replaceability and self-repair. Hopefully they lose and pay big!
  14. alexe macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2014
    Well, I guess at least we got that useless touchbar nobody asked for.

    It does sound like a BS troll lawsuit though.
  15. tridley68 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2014
    your slipping Timmy Cook you are taking quantity over quality
  16. Mike MA, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018

    Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
    An official replacement program would have avoided the lawsuit most certainly. Now costs might be higher and less customer satisfaction is guaranteed. But it’s only a product from the Mac lineup Tim might think...
  17. kahkityoong macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Wish they would just update the old retina MacBook Pro chassis with the latest hardware. Get my SD card slot, ports, MagSafe and a proper keyboard back. Not going to miss the touchbar at all.
  18. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    keep 'em coming.
    And for those who say their keyboards are fine...just wait :)
  19. spazzcat macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2007
    We have six of them in the office with zero issues, is this a real issue or a vocal minority?
  20. Applebot1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2014
    What’s happened to Apple and design decisions in the last few years. They are losing there way and it’s not good to see.
  21. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2009
    I just hope Mr Cook gets fired and is replaced with somebody more competent and less of a Mac hater.
  22. twennywonn macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2012
    My 2016 is out to service because the “9” key went out.

    The top case was replaced.
  23. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    2013 MBP 15" here going strong. Replaced thermal paste and cleaned out fans/fin stack. Runs quite and cool. I refuse to upgrade to the current gen because of keyboard, touchbar, ports, and lack luster performance boost. I now do my heavy photo editing work on a custom built PC because Apple refused to update the Mac Pro... I'm tired of the new Apple refusing to pay attention to the Mac...

    It's pretty simple Apple, listen to your Pro customers and bring back the old and update the internals. Not hard to do.
  24. HiVolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 29, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah, except with hardware 4 generations behind, and still not cheap.
  25. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    I still have not had a single key on my 2016 15" go bad. I do keep the machine clean. Either I got lucky or it comes down to individual typing technique. I hope these lawsuits result in Apple extending free warranty service until 2021 or 2022 though. My AppleCare runs out at the end of next year. While I'll probably buy a new MBP around that time, Apple taking care of this problem will result in better resale value.

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299 May 23, 2018