Apple is violating Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 with 'Error 53'

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by illegaloperation, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. illegaloperation macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2016
    #1
    As you may have read on the front page [http://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/05/error-53-home-button-iphone-brick/], Apple is bricking iPhone that have had Touch ID repaired with 'Error 53'.

    This violate the law, specifically the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975.

    The law was specifically passed because in the past, car manufacturers were voiding the warranty for those who took their car to independent mechanics for repair.

    Source: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance

    This law is however, not limited to automobiles and, but applies to consumer products such as the iPhone.

    By bricking the iPhones, Apple has gone beyond no only voiding the warranty, but also render the products unusable.
     
  2. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    #2
    It's a pretty astounding silly position apple have taken on this.
    I'm sure you'll see a long line of lawyers wanting some flesh over this one..
     
  3. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    #3
    I'm not sure if the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 applies to this case. Reason being is that act is meant for "regular" parts so to speak. Apple is bricking iPhone's with replaced (3rd party or form another iPhone) TouchID home buttons. TouchID is a security feature so the closest car equivalent would be immobilizer chips, which didn't appear on vehicles until 20 years after that act.

    From Apple's POV, the most likely vulnerability of the TouchID security feature is a hardware attack hence the locking of the device and the bricking of a device with changed button.

    It's still quite possible that Apple needs to only disable the TouchID feature and disabling the device outright does violate a law.
     
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    #4
    Is it not like BMW disabling the ECU on your car if you have it serviced outside their dealer chain??
     
  5. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    #5
    more like you changed the immobilizer chip (TouchID) and now the ECU no longer reads the key.
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #6
    We're talking about a non serviceable device not a car. With that said...

    Given the security behind it I don't think this would hold up in court.
     
  7. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

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    #7
    Non user serviceable vs non serviceable are a totally different thing..
    Apple should not be able to stop 3rd party repairs, that would be a monopoly or even a cartel...!
     
  8. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    #8
    iPhone isn't non serviceable. Apple does it all the time in the Apple store and there are no void warranty stickers on the device either.
     
  9. illegaloperation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Apple might have a case for disabling Touch ID functionality after a third party repair, but to disable the entire device, probably not.

    Wouldn't surprise me at all if lawyers have field days with this.
     
  10. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #10
    You can bet on it! Apple left themselves wide open on this one.
     
  11. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #11
    Apple could claim the hardware was faulty and the software didn't recognize it. They are under no obligation to write their software for non-standard non-oem hardware.
     
  12. illegaloperation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    "The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part."

    Apple would have to make a case by case basis that the parts are indeed faulty. The burden of proof lies with Apple.

    In this case, even an OEM home button taken from another iPhone 6 wouldn't work.
     
  13. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #13
    This would be up to the courts to decide. Of course this could go either way if a suit was filed but I can also see Apple potentially bringing in the Dcma which could actually help Apple.
     
  14. illegaloperation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    DCMA has to do with intellectual property and doesn't have anything thing to do with this case.
     
  15. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #15
    That's correct, third party parts, proprietary interfaces and all that, i.e. Intellectual property.
     
  16. illegaloperation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Let me be clear about this: Apple cannot claim intellectual property to bar third party repairs.
     
  17. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #17
    There is a saying:

    "Well-willing is often the opposite of week-done"….

    The problem is NOT the fact that for EVIDENT security reasons the phone gets blocked.
    I am criticizing apple for many things, but not this care for more security itself.

    The REAL problems - and this is where apple failed - are:
    1) apple did not communicate the new security feature. No warning.
    2) since you have still full security with your old method of four numbers, apple could easily have solved the problem in case of exchange of broken screens by making the phone demanding this code (or even a much more complicated one created by yourself while activating it the first time) after each exchange of screen or fingerprint-button.
    3) apple could at least for the exchange of fingerprint-sensors and/or screen charge a reasonable charge instead of horrible charges, doing so they´d prevent forcing their customers to search for alternative repair services…

    This solution is so simple and logic that I can´t imagine none at apple did think about it.

    So - for me - this is just another step away from their customers. Like they solder now every SSD, RAM, glue every battery - their policy is to make their customers slaves.
    Their once well-functioning Eco-system is getting more and more a real prison.

    They give a s*** on customers needs and free choice (to update/modify their own property for example) now. Sadly, there are still too much lemmings who even apologize everything…

    I hope there will be class lawsuit action soon.
    They deserve it.
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #18
    Under Mag-Moss, Apple would have to get a waiver from the FTC by stating that only certain brands would work... AND the FTC would have to agree that such a requirement is in the public interest.

    This doesn't sound likely here, since the OS lockout has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BRAND OF THE PART. It only has to do with the part's ID changing and a new OS update bricking the phone because of it.

    Still waiting for someone to explain how it's a security threat, since fingerprints are recognized by the secure element, not by the fingerprint sensor. (I can think of a really unlikely scenario, but nobody's mentioned so far that seem likely.)

    They might even need to disable the TouchID feature. Surely entering your passcode should be enough to reset the key.
     
  19. gnasher729, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #19
    Who says Apple is voiding any warranty here? Someone attempted a repair of a component that is absolutely critical for the security of the device. The device cannot distinguish between a botched repair and an attempt by a hacker to gain illegal access to your device. Therefore the device stops working.

    Now clearly the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act says that Apple can't void your warranty because someone repaired or serviced the phone. However, they can void the warranty if someone botched a repair. However again, you don't even have evidence that the warranty is voided - if the device stops working because it detects tampering that doesn't mean your warranty is voided or that Apple claims it is voided. That only happens when you take the device to Apple and Apple refuses to repair it.

    A genuine sensor scans your finger print, sends it to the secure element, and forgets what it scanned. A forged sensor could do lots of things. For example, scan your finger print, send it to the secure element, and remember what it scanned, so when a thief with the right equipment steals your phone, and needs a fingerprint, he or she can make the sensor replay the last genuine finger print that it scanned.

    I suppose you mean DMCA. DMCA has nothing to do with this. The fingerprint sensor has nothing at all to do with any copying of works that are protected by copyright.
     
  20. macbookfan macrumors member

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #20
    From what i'm reading on Apples press release there stance is it was not installed correctly because the Touch ID sensor was not Matched to the secure element. Therefore they can claim
    Not saying I agree with it but I think thats where they are coming from.
     
  21. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #21
    The problem is that Apple is refusing to repair it, so the only recourse is to buy another one or go elsewhere, which is exactly what I would do in this instance (not to another repair shop but to a different manufacturer).
     
  22. illegaloperation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2016
    #22
    How come Apple haven't bricked iPhone 5 and older?

    After all, Touch ID is "critical" for the security and those devices don't have Touch IDs.

    A thief steals your phone, dissembled it, replace the Touch ID, reassembled your phone and then returned your phone, all without you noticing.

    Which movie is this from?

    This isn't a botched repair. Rather, Apple doesn't approve of the repair and hence disabled the device.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 7, 2016 ---
    My gf dropped her iPhone 6 and cracked the screen.

    I replaced the screen myself and kept the original Touch ID so her phone is still working.

    That said, it is clear that Apple is giving the middle finger to independent repair shops and DIYs like myself.
     
  23. Borin macrumors regular

    Borin

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    #23
    How can you guarantee that any replacement part that isn't provided by Apple isn't capable of doing such a thing?

    Are you upset because Apple may or may not be breaking a law, or are you upset because it may or may not impact your work?
     
  24. illegaloperation, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    illegaloperation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    It doesn't matter what it can or can't do. It's her phone. It's her life.

    If you want to pay Apple to repair your phone, so be it.

    I am upset with this authoritarian/Big Brother attitude.

    Do what Apple say or else, you'll be punished.

    The law is there to protect me.
     
  25. Borin macrumors regular

    Borin

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    #25
    Of course. Said person owns the product, so said person can do with it what they want.

    That doesn't mean Apple should always go out of their way to accommodate them after they have made said choice.

    Maybe attitudes towards these sorts of issues are greatly different across the pond.
     

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