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Apple Sued Over Swollen Batteries in Apple Watches

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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New Jersey resident Gina Priano-Keyser has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Apple this week in U.S. district court, accusing the company of fraudulent business practices and breach of warranty related to the Apple Watch, according to court documents accessed by MacRumors.

Apple Watch with display popped off and swollen battery via Shawn Miller

Priano-Keyser alleges that all Apple Watches up to and including Series 4 models are prone to a defect that results in the lithium-ion battery swelling and causing the screen to "crack, shatter, or detach from the body" of the watch "through no fault of the wearer, oftentimes only days or weeks after purchase."

The plaintiff believes that Apple either knew or should have known that the Apple Watch models were defective before selling them, adding that they pose "a significant safety hazard to consumers" -- a "number" of which have suffered "cuts and burns" as a result of the scratched, shattered, or detached screens.

Apple has acknowledged the possibility of swollen batteries in select Apple Watch models in the past, and offered free repairs up to three years after purchase. However, the complaint alleges that the company often attributes the issue to "accidental damage" and thus "refuses to cover repairs" under warranty.

Priano-Keyser states that she purchased an Apple Watch Series 3 in October 2017. In July 2018, while charging, she alleges that the screen "unexpectedly detached" from the watch's body and cracked. Her daughter "pushed the screen back into place," but the Apple Watch has been "unusable" ever since.

The plaintiff booked a Genius Bar appointment in August 2018, but upon inspection, she alleges that Apple denied to repair the Apple Watch free of charge under warranty and instead quoted her an out-of-warranty fee of $229 for service.

The plaintiff's damaged Apple Watch Series 3

The complaint cites over a dozen similar experiences described by users on the Apple Support Communities over the past few years.

Priano-Keyser is seeking damages in an amount to be proven at trial for herself and all others similarly situated. The proposed class includes all residents of New Jersey who are current and former owners of all models and sizes of the Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 purchased in New Jersey.

The complaint was filed by Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, the same law firm that filed a nearly identical class action lawsuit regarding the swollen Apple Watch batteries in California back in June 2018. That case was tossed by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in January due to being "vague."

"Plaintiff's description of the alleged defect identifies only the consequences of the alleged defect (i.e., cracking, shattering, or detaching), but is notably silent on identifying the defect that causes such consequences," Judge Koh stated.

The lawsuit in New Jersey addresses this by attempting to identify a cause.

"Upon information and belief, the Defect is caused by aging or otherwise faulty li-on batteries, or by defective internal components of the Watches that regulate temperature, electrical currents, charging, and other mechanisms that could affect the Watches' li-on batteries," the complaint states.

It remains to be seen if the New Jersey case proceeds to trial or is also tossed.

Full complaint is embedded after the break...

Click here to read rest of article...

Article Link: Apple Sued Over Swollen Batteries in Apple Watches
 

vegetassj4

macrumors regular
Oct 16, 2014
248
272
Another feature. The watch has a screen cleaning function via a spring mechanism which vibrates the screen in an up and down fashion to shake off any accumulated dust. if you are wearing the watch in an improper manner the force of the spring is multiplied by the square of the distance and inadvertently breaks the watch. You are wearing it wrong.
 
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78Bandit

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
683
1,234
If it's not working, return/replace it, why sued? Just another greedy money grab.

"The plaintiff booked a Genius Bar appointment in August 2018, but upon inspection, she alleges that Apple denied to repair the Apple Watch free of charge under warranty and instead quoted her an out-of-warranty fee of $229 for service."

Looks like she tried exactly what you suggested and Apple refused.
 
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JMPATLANTA

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2011
80
85
Happened to my mother-in-law's Apple Watch. I tend to cycle through new technology and so I don't have them long enough to experience this but Apple refused to fix her watch and gave her the $229 out of warranty estimate. I told her I would order a battery replacement kit and I successfully replaced the battery but the steps, detail and time to accomplish it was nutso. The battery in her watch was definitely swollen and is what caused the screen to pop off. After I got it back together following the iFixit guide it is working perfectly. This is definitely a problem Apple is going to have to take care of and is not due to misuse. Can you imagine having purchased a Series 1 solid Gold unit and the screen pops off. Geesh.
 
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haincha

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2012
27
14
Both of my original Series 0 watches did this. My wife's did this, and then when I upgraded to the Series 3, my Series 0 I gave her did the same thing.

Edit:
Boy, I almost forgot about the issues I had at the Apple Store trying to get this fixed as it was out of warranty. They tried making me pay $229 or something absurd for repair. I basically told them to let me talk to the store manager, and at that point they repaired it for free. But, it was a nightmare dealing with regular store "geniuses".
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,218
12,396
Gotta be in it to win it
The list of bad news from Apple continues unabated. This is what happens when we have a bean counter CEO.
So the list of bad news continues. So what. Did the stock price drop? Did the revenues overall drop? Is apple going under? No, no, no and no.

They have so many devices out there there are bound to be issues with some of them.
 
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mbabq

macrumors newbie
Apr 2, 2019
1
3
That Apple watch looks trashed. No wonder the battery swelled up. It's not Apple's fault if you can't take care of stuff and beat it all up.

I had my Series 1 replaced twice for this issue (no cost). My watch was perfectly taken care of, thank you very much. It literally just made a subtle pop while driving, and the screen was separated.

If it happens again, I'm likely SOL, but watches should not be disposable, and certainly not for several hundred $. I have my grandfather's pocket watch, which is pushing 100 years old, still works. Seems like the battery paradigm should change to something almost like an SD card that can be replaced.
 
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Zaft

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2009
4,125
3,343
Brooklyn, NY
Happened to my mother-in-law's Apple Watch. I tend to cycle through new technology and so I don't have them long enough to experience this but Apple refused to fix her watch and gave her the $229 out of warranty estimate. I told her I would order a battery replacement kit and I successfully replaced the battery but the steps, detail and time to accomplish it was nutso. The battery in her watch was definitely swollen and is what caused the screen to pop off. After I got it back together following the iFixit guide it is working perfectly. This is definitely a problem Apple is going to have to take care of and is not due to misuse. Can you imagine having purchased a Series 1 solid Gold unit and the screen pops off. Geesh.
If a person can afford to get them full gold original Apple Watch, im sure they don’t care as they are rich celebs anyway.
 
Comment

SDJim

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2017
429
1,506
San Diego, CA
Reparations for all individuals in the state who have purchased any Apple Watch ever? Reparations for WHAT, exactly?
Oh brother... Just give the lady a new watch so she'll shut up.
 
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csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,310
1,748
Seattle, WA
Look at all of the damage to the screen. There are signs that it has been dropped, banged around, etc. If the battery was swollen, wouldn’t the screen push away from the watch itself? Hers doesn’t show any of that.
 
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