California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup this week dismissed a lawsuit filed against Apple over allegedly defective Apple notebooks, reports Reuters. Filed on behalf of Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles with class action status, the suit accused Apple of deliberately selling notebooks with logic boards the company knew were faulty.

    The plaintiffs claim Apple in May 2010 stated selling defective MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air notebooks with logic boards that failed within two years. Apple was accused of misrepresenting the faulty notebooks by advertising them as "state of the art" and the "most advanced" notebooks on the market. According to the suit, Tim Cook allegedly was made aware of the logic board issue in 2011 but did nothing to remedy the issue.

    In his dismissal of the suit, Alsup said the plaintiffs failed to show that Apple's notebooks were of a substandard quality, noting that both plaintiffs were able to use their computers for a reasonable amount of time.
    Alsup also refuted the plaintiffs' claim that Apple misrepresented its products. Following this dismissal, the plaintiffs have until January 22 to amend their lawsuit.

    Apple is facing another MacBook-related lawsuit that accuses the company of selling MacBook Pro models with defective graphics cards. This second suit is the result of a growing number of consumer complaints citing screen glitches, GPU failures, and system crashes in Apple's 2011 line of MacBook Pro notebooks.

    Article Link: California Judge Dismisses Notebook Logic Board Lawsuit Against Apple
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Considering the average computer has a life span of 5 years, and the average Mac is nearly double that, the 18 month statement is highly ignorant.
  3. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    "Failed to allege"?? Failed to prove, surely?

    We've had to replace several 2010 & 2011 MBPs in recent months, all failing with graphics cards issues. It's a real pity, as otherwise they were still running great - fast, no fan issues, no battery issues. By comparison we had several 1st gen Intel MBPs and those were dreadful, random shutdowns, failing power adaptors, bulging batteries, melting cables, fans failing... On the plus side, I got a 2013 Retina MBP with SSD so no complaints.
  4. Hurda macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2009
    Can't make that up. :eek:
    I wouldn't want to add that into the next ad-campaign, though. :p
  5. xizdun macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2011
    Well, technically, it's beyond the 12-month warranty, and that's all that matters in terms of the lawsuit.
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The key here is "average". Just like anything else, some have longer and others have shorter. Like life expectancy numbers, for every early "death", there are several that outlive the average in order to offset.
  7. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
  8. HobeSoundDarryl, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    But if you are going to argue it like that, you need to highlight the mirror observation: that for those "several that outlive the average in order to offset" there have to be a similar "several" that fall short of the average. So if the courts would imply that 2 years is "average", for those that go 3 you need a matching quantity that only makes it 1 and for those that go 4, you need a matching quantity that are DOA.

    For 5-year life Macs, you need negative 1-year life (I suppose that's dead long before they are made) OR you need a much larger quantity dying at something short of the average than those that make it 5. Same with 6. Same with 7.

    Point: the courts judgement of average seems pretty low if we want to spin quality of Apple laptops and their long useful life. However, if the courts would shift the average to- say- 3 years or 4 years (which IMO seems more realistic), the case of these laptops conking in 18-24 months would gain strength and Apple might have to do something about it. What to do? What to do?

    In my own experience, I bought a Powerbook way back in 2004 (if I recall correctly, it was about $3K back then). It had the memory lower slot problem that revealed itself beyond the warranty period and Apple similarly neither acknowledged it nor did anything about it. Same sequence of events. Same outcome for consumers. Overall that Powerbook still works, so my 10 years is probably pulling up the average lifespan calculation in a dramatic way but that memory slot still doesn't work and Apple still doesn't acknowledge that defect.
  9. solamar macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2008
    If the judge listened to you, then any given warranty term would have no value.
    I could say 5 year on my water heater, and in the 6th year you sue me because it broke because 'everyone elses' lasted 6 years or more..


    both are reasonably past warranty. Thats why you pay for extended warranties if you want them. Choose to no get that extension and well you roll the dice, to accept the consequences..

    Well, in a reasonable world.. these days we don't like it, even though you accepted the terms by purchasing it, we just sue and stamp our fee like adolescent spoiled brats.
  10. Traverse, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

    Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    Sorry, but when you pay $1,799 and up for a notebook, I want to use it more an 2.5 years. :mad:

    Still, like others said, I got a 15" rMBP replacement so...
  11. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    Admittedly the 1 year warranties are a bit scummy. If Apple product quality is supposed to be the best why aren't Macs coming with 3 year warranties like high end products from other companies do.
  12. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Me too. I really hate that whenever I have issues with my Intel Macs that the PowerPCs which they replaced, become useful again. Maybe even worse that I can't justify trashing them SINCE they work fine. I will probably buy a new iMac in the next year or so, and when that dies, my iMac G4 will still be around to fill its shoes in the meantime.

    It has literally one to the point where I'm thinking of adding a Bluetooth dongle just so I can use my wireless keyboard with the G4. That, and modding a SD card slot into its broken DVD slot.
  13. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I've never had a problem with Apple fixing an out-of-warranty Apple product for free, even when it was my fault.

    I find it a bit crazy that the judge is calling 18-24 months of usage reasonable. Yes, it's beyond the warranty, but few people go through computers that quickly.
  14. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I wish I had an older Mac like the G4 around too. I loved their durability. Even my rMBP has an issue with the thunderbolt ports that I will have Apple address at some point. :mad:

    Oddly enough, the only piece of Apple hardware that I've never had any issues with is my old iPad 3...


    Agreed. Their whole system is designed to sell you Apple Care. I think the 90 days of phone support is stingy too. Still, even with the $349 warranty, they lose money when they have to give you a free rMBP.
  15. keaganfowler macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2015
    I have a late 2011 MacBook pro 15 inch and my graphics card has failed to the point of no boot. Do any of you recommend doing anything to push this issue forward? I haven't taken it to the Apple Store yet as my one year warranty is done. Should I still take it in anyway? Thanks for the help!
  16. BrockC macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    My 2012 rMBP needs a logic board replacement, and isn't under warranty. (I have taken great care of it and now I wish I got the extended warranty.) To replace it will be ~$1,000
  17. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    I think your "t" on the keyboard is not working correctly :D
  18. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Where exactly was the court implying anything like that? You seem to have a strange understanding about how probability works. Some of the laptops will fail earlier than others, that is the basic truth, just as some apples will be rotten. You can't come to a court with two rotten apples and claim that the whole orchard worth of apples is bad — you'd have to do better than that.

    Now, the plaintiffs would have a case if they could show that all or at least an unexpectedly high number of 2011 models are failing prematurely. It is indeed true that the GPU appears to be a weak point with those machines and that GPU failures are more common that any other issue. However, pending any official statistics, I don't see how it is possible to judge how widespread the issue actually is. Don't forget, around 20-25% of all laptops in the industry fail within first there years. Even if several million of 2011 models have died of GPU failures until 2015, they are probably still under that limit.
  19. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    I agree with your sentiment, but be careful what you ask for. Depending on the number of failures and replacements in years 2 and 3 based on historical data, Apple could simply increase price to cover their cost of the added warranty. Ultimately, it means higher prices for the product and for those that have issues, it will be worth it, and for those that have no issue, that will not be worth it.
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    This is understandable, but it is always possible that you will be unlucky. Computers are objects of every day use, can fail anytime and should be treated as such. If you cannot cope with losing a $1799 computer prematurely, then you should not get that computer in the first place. The higher price is not a guarantee of a longer longevity.
  21. eac25 macrumors regular


    Sep 27, 2013
    ... somewhere under the rainbow ...
    Woe to our litigious society...

    What I don't get is why anyone would sue Apple over such a thing - the lawyers fees are bound to cost more than a brand spanking new computer. Did Apple advertise something falsely? Did they guarantee that every single computer would last and there would be zero defects? I don't think so.

    Yes, it's frustrating when something doesn't last as long as one hopes or even expects, but to sue over it!?... I think what's broken is not Apple and their products but possibly their consumers or maybe their response to these specific consumers... Just MHO...


    Weird statistics there.... If one fails after 5 years and 5 fail after 1 year, the average is much closer to 1 than to 5 - it does not require a one-on-one-side-of-the-average and another-on-the-other-side type of correlation...
  22. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Duh. Did I not make that same point? I was poking a joke with the idea of a failure in negative 1 year. However, if we apply this sound thinking (yours and mine), that would be multiple Macbook failures short of the average to compensate for those fewer cases where a Macbook lasts well beyond the average. This judge setting the average at only 18-24 months sure pains the arguments so often spun about the quality of Apple workmanship and the long life of Apple Macs (as part of justifying the Apple premium).

    In other words, for Apple to "win" this case, the "objective" judge had to deem laptops that can cost >$2K as having a reasonable lifetime of 18-24 months. Make the argument of the quality of Apple's build vs. other, cheaper laptops and this "objective" call doesn't make sense. OR accept this benchmark and then quit arguing about the quality of Apple's laptop hardware builds in other threads.

    I'm on my second Mac laptop myself (and I expect it to have a long life beyond 18-24 months for how much it cost relative to similar specs in other manufacturers laptops) but if I actually believed this ruling- that 18-24 months was an acceptable lifetime for an Apple laptop- I'd definitely have pause in laying out $2K+ for the next one.

    Congratulations to Apple. Too bad Apple product consumers who ended up on the wrong side of that average.
  23. Rockadile macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    I have the same computer. Got stuck white screen, black screen, or glitchy blue/black during boot. Looks like you need a logic board change also.

    Bought mine in June 2012; graphic card failed in April 2014. Got charged $310 but I have Applecare until June 2015.
  24. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    While I haven't read the ruling, the snippet that came out of it stated:

    Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively

    In no way did the Judge determine that the average life span of a computer is 18-24 months. Instead he is laying down a minimum life span that one could be expecting.
  25. melendezest Suspended

    Jan 28, 2010
    You're lucky. I fall into the category of the lawsuit, for both a 2011 17" MBP (Which I otherwise LOVE) that had a logic board and graphics fail at around the 24 month timeframe, and a mid 2011 iMac 27 with the same issue. For the iMac, the out of warranty cost was $1,000. For the MBP it was $300.

    I will never, ever buy an iMac again. I'd never sell my 17 MBP either, and will continue to repair and seek them out over getting a retina mac. Out-of-pocket logic board replacements for say, failed RAM would be expensive. And until SSD costs per gig drop, they're out of the question. I need internal storage space.

    So now, with this judgment, Apple has free license to make their devices even more disposable.

    That said, the example of a Mac lasting what they used to is somewhat unrealistic IMO, given the much higher levels of power and demand the hardware is put through today. The components are just burning up, and they just don't build them like they used to, I guess.

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125 January 9, 2015