Class Action Lawsuit Over iPhone 7 Audio Chip Defect Narrowed, But Allowed to Proceed

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A class action lawsuit accusing Apple of violating consumer laws and breaching its warranties over an alleged iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus audio chip defect has been allowed to proceed, but the case has been narrowed.

U.S. district judge Jon Tigar on Thursday denied Apple's motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims for breach of implied warranty under California law, violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and unjust enrichment in the form of an alternative remedy. The court granted Apple's motion to dismiss the remaining claims, but the plaintiffs have an opportunity to amend their complaint within 21 days.


Filed in May 2019, the class action lawsuit alleged that "the materials used in the ?iPhone?'s external casing are insufficient and inadequate to protect the internal parts," eventually resulting in the audio chip losing electrical contact with the logic board due to "flexion" of the device during regular use.

The defect results in multiple issues on affected devices, ranging from a grayed-out speaker button to customers not being heard during phone calls and FaceTime video chats, according to the complaint.

The initial complaint sought an order that would require Apple to repair, recall, and/or replace the affected iPhones and to extend the warranties of the devices for a reasonable period of time. The plaintiffs also sought damages "likely in the millions of dollars" that would be divided among affected customers.

The class action has been consolidated in Northern California court.

"Loop Disease"

In an internal document obtained by MacRumors in May 2018, Apple acknowledged a microphone issue affecting some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. The memo to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers described the same audio issues mentioned in the class action lawsuits.

The alleged defect is commonly referred to as "Audio IC issues" and it is also informally known as "Loop Disease" on the web.

Apple's document said service providers could request a "warranty exception" for affected iPhones, which resulted in free repairs for at least some customers, but that abruptly ended in July 2018 after Apple deleted the document.

Since then, some Apple employees have failed to acknowledge the internal guidelines ever existed, resulting in many customers having to pay an out-of-warranty fee of over $300 in the United States for a fix. Of course, some customers have managed to argue their way to a free repair, but mileage varies.

?iPhone? 7 and ?iPhone? 7 Plus devices still within Apple's limited one-year warranty period or covered by AppleCare+ remain eligible for a free repair, but the audio chip issues usually take time to manifest, and warranty coverage has lapsed on many of the devices since they were released in September 2016.

MacRumors has repeatedly contacted Apple for comment regarding the audio chip issues, but we have never received a response.

The full order on Apple's motion to dismiss is embedded below.

Click here to read rest of article...

Article Link: Class Action Lawsuit Over iPhone 7 Audio Chip Defect Narrowed, But Allowed to Proceed
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,218
10,560
Yeah-
How they're treating some iPhone 7 customers is really bad.
Makes one not want to have anything to do with them.
I have an iPhone 7 out of warranty with ALL the loop disease problems and an Apple tech refused to acknowledge the problems existed and refused to repair it. All I was given was a run-around to go to AT&T who then told me to go to Apple - who then tried to sell me a newer iPhone 7.
If that wasn't enough, I asked them to replace the battery - but was told it didn't need replacing (though 85% on its death bed) ... so wasn't -- and now if I don't use the phone for a few days, it won't even boot up because the battery is at ZERO charge even though I left it at 80% before shutting it down.

Yeah-this forum is full of fake apple apologists, defending the big , but my experience with their customer support gets an F--
 

HVDynamo

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2011
384
411
Minnesota
Yeah-
How they're treating some iPhone 7 customers is really bad.
Makes one not want to have anything to do with them.
I have an iPhone 7 out of warranty with ALL the loop disease problems and an Apple tech refused to acknowledge the problems existed and refused to repair it. All I was given was a run-around to go to AT&T who then told me to go to Apple - who then tried to sell me a newer iPhone 7.
If that wasn't enough, I asked them to replace the battery - but was told it didn't need replacing (though 85% on its death bed) ... so wasn't -- and now if I don't use the phone for a few days, it won't even boot up because the battery is at ZERO charge even though I left it at 80% before shutting it down.

Yeah-this forum is full of fake apple apologists, defending the big , but my experience with their customer support gets an F--
I don't understand the refusal to change the battery. Granted this is just my experience, but I had an older 6S that I got from a friend that was down to 88%. The battery was still fine, but I was giving my phone to my dad that Christmas, so I just told them I was gifting it to my dad and I wanted a fresh battery for him. They didn't bother me about it at all, they just replaced it for me. I think you should take it in again and just tell them you want the battery replaced.
 

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
6,546
7,468
Where's the lawsuit for iOS bricking people's phones and killing their pictures/data?


 

rjp1

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
333
996
I wish they'd just step up and fix things like this without being forced to do so. The flaw is widespread and was their fault.

The repair community narrowed it down to one point on the mother board. I had to get 2 iPhone 7's fixed for this issue and paid $100 for a 3rd party to do it. They install a small wire so that if it flexes in the future, then it will still stay connected and not have the issue again.

If you pay Apple for the repair, then they will give you another iPhone 7 that will just have the same issue.

Apple has miserable support on things like this. At the very least, if people pay them to do the repair, then do the proper repair.
- - Post merged: - -

Had my iPhone 7 Plus since release and so far, I've had no issues. Hopefully upgrading this year though
That is what everyone says right up until they do. :rolleyes:
 

SDJim

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2017
259
819
San Diego, CA
It's a shame this happens sometimes, but I have had nothing but stellar experiences with Apple support. I even bought a watch second-hand once and it had issues - so after an hour on a 3-way call with Apple and Verizon, Apple sent me a brand new one. It's a shame they aren't handling this more like they have handled other cases, though I'm sure it has something to do with the phones being three generations old at this point.
 

nordique

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2014
1,620
1,108
This happened to my mom’s iPhone 7

luckily it was replaced free of charge

loop disease is real and it sucks
 

Metrosey

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2019
196
153
I wish they'd just step up and fix things like this without being forced to do so. The flaw is widespread and was their fault.

The repair community narrowed it down to one point on the mother board. I had to get 2 iPhone 7's fixed for this issue and paid $100 for a 3rd party to do it. They install a small wire so that if it flexes in the future, then it will still stay connected and not have the issue again.

If you pay Apple for the repair, then they will give you another iPhone 7 that will just have the same issue.

Apple has miserable support on things like this. At the very least, if people pay them to do the repair, then do the proper repair.
- - Post merged: - -


That is what everyone says right up until they do. :rolleyes:
True haha :)
 
  • Haha
Reactions: rjp1

JosephAW

macrumors 68030
May 14, 2012
2,978
3,425
No problems on my 7 plus except I can no longer get loud output from the earpiece. I'm figuring a bad speaker. You can hear from it in calls but not very loud. Bottom speaker is still fine.
 

rjp1

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
333
996
True haha :)
Both of my daughters have an iPhone 7 from launch. The first one broke in November last year. At first I thought she was to blame for it not being able to be used for calls. Then my other daughter's phone broke about 2 weeks later. I hadn't got the first one fixed yet and thought there would be something to get the speaker icon back (like iOS software related issue), and then I found out about the flaw. Hopefully yours will keep working until your upgrade. As a temporary work around, my daughter was able to make/receive calls using bluetooth (Beats).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Metrosey

cyb3rdud3

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2014
1,366
462
UK
I don't understand the refusal to change the battery. Granted this is just my experience, but I had an older 6S that I got from a friend that was down to 88%. The battery was still fine, but I was giving my phone to my dad that Christmas, so I just told them I was gifting it to my dad and I wanted a fresh battery for him. They didn't bother me about it at all, they just replaced it for me. I think you should take it in again and just tell them you want the battery replaced.
I would hazard a guess that it was because of the other issues with the phone as they then can't provide warranty on their battery replacement activity.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
2,689
1,038
Perhaps the US needs to extend the Magnuson-Moss warranty period to a minimum of 3 years for say devices over $500. Apple and others can cover warranty costs and lost Applecare/repair revenue by raising prices across the board, which would be smaller than the cost of AppleCare since it is spread over many more devices. They could still sell extended phone tech support or AppleCare to extend the warranty to five years.

If you look at EU countries and the UK, they have roughly a 10% price delta, pre VAT, some of which no doubt is to longer warranties mandated by law. I’d guess maybe a 3% bump in price.

That would also put more emphasis on durability.
 
Last edited:

JWD

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2012
77
130
Apple store in Canada would not repair my 7 plus (they wanted almost $800 for a new 7 plus) so I sold it at a reduced price and upgraded to an 11. Should have kept the serial number, Apple owes me some cash.
 

theanimala

macrumors 6502
Mar 2, 2007
352
123
My 7+ got hit this summer while I was away on vacation so it really sucked. Was told I would have to pay $300 for a replacement. I waited it out until the iPhone 11 was announce and bought that and traded in my $hitbox 7+ for $200. The store never checked that the microphone worked when making a call so I was glad to stick it back to Apple. Made the 11 $250 more than Apple replacing my 7+ with another 7+ which I think was worth the difference.
 
  • Like
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pauliaK

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2012
136
48
Banff, AB
Interesting, I didn’t know this was such a widespread issue, I thought when this happened to my iPhone 7 it was a one off and I just got unlucky with mine. I still have the phone so I hope Apple is forced to do something about it.
 

choctawfootball

macrumors newbie
Apr 3, 2015
8
2
I don’t believe they are related but this reminds me of the poor quality control clicking noise issue on the 7 plus.

here

Apple refused to admit their mistake like they are doing here.
apple did allow me to exchange my 7 plus, but each one they exchanged had the similar clicking noise.

The overall issue that makes me upset is that a premium phone that cost me $1,000 (yes I bought the biggest gb version), should not make a clicking noise.

nor should it have the audio loop issue.

Apple markets and states their products are better in every way, better hardware, software, ecosystem, quality control, suppliers etc.

If this is not true then I could just buy a Samsung.
(and of course I realize that Sammy phones are just as good as iPhone, however I bet there are many many people that are brainwashed into believing that Apple is always better).
 
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