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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple customers unhappy with the butterfly keyboards used in MacBook models from 2015 on will be able to proceed with a lawsuit against the Cupertino company, as the judge overseeing the case has given it class action status [PDF]. The suit covers anyone who purchased a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan.


As noted by The Verge, Judge Edward Davila certified the case on March 8, but the order was sealed until last week. This lawsuit will include those who bought a MacBook between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2018, accusing Apple of concealing the fact that its 2015 and later MacBook models had keyboards prone to failure. Apple launched a repair program for all Macs with butterfly keyboards, but the complainants believe that the repair program does not serve as an effective fix because the replacement keyboards also use butterfly mechanisms that can fail again.

Apple attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed in 2019, but was unsuccessful. At the time, the judge said that Apple must face the claims that the repair program is inadequate or compensate customers for out-of-pocket repair expenses.

First introduced in 2015, Apple's butterfly keyboards were a huge failure. There were countless complaints from MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air owners who saw their keyboards break, sometimes more than once. There were issues with stuck and repeating keys or keys that refused to work at all, with the problem caused by key failure after exposure to dust and other small particulates.


Apple attempted to revise the butterfly keyboard several times to make it more durable and launched an extensive repair program for MacBook owners with faulty keyboards, but ultimately replaced the butterfly keyboard with a scissor switch keyboard starting with the 16-inch MacBook Pro introduced in 2019.

The butterfly keyboard is no longer in use in any Mac product in Apple's lineup, but there are still plenty of people who are stuck with a MacBook manufactured from 2015 to 2019 that has a keyboard prone to failure. The lawsuit is seeking damages for violations of consumer protection laws in the seven included states, and while the plaintiffs are not yet asking for a nationwide certification, the law firm behind the lawsuit is running a survey to determine how many people might be affected.

Article Link: MacBook Owners' Butterfly Keyboard Lawsuit Against Apple Gets Class Action Certification
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Jul 25, 2016
Apple and Tim Cook deserve to be dragged through mud, coals and broken glass for gaslighting users that they had "fixed" the keyboard after three generations, for selling us false hope, for consecutive futile recall programs, and for all the impossible and unnecessary inconvenience they've put us through for years.

Do NOT pin this on Johnny Ive. Maybe the idea was his, but he's not the one who signed off such a major component change for broad release. That fish rots from the head down.
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macrumors 68000
Oct 13, 2016
Good. It was a horrible design, the product of Ive's ego, universally derided and failed left and right when air got stuck under the keys all for the sake of making it .00000034" thinner.

The added insult to all of this was Apple (as usual) claiming that a "small minority" of people were affected and forced users to replace it at cost until they could no longer say it was "user error" and had to eat the cost themselves.

I hope treble damages are awarded to the plaintiffs.


macrumors member
Jul 7, 2013
Had mine replaced 3x so far and have very little hope it will last any legnth of time after my June 2021 repair program cutoff. Practically begged support to replace it with a 16" but they weren't having any of that.
To be fair, extended repair programs where they replace the faulty part with a similar one that will eventually fail again for the same reason should not be allowed. Same with the 2011 MacBook Pro with the AMD GPU.
They should just recall the devices and replace the faulty part with a redesigned one that doesn’t have the fundamental flaw that caused the recall in the first place.


macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2007
Had my 2015 MacBook keyboard replaced under this repair program, and the problem re-appeared within months. Program expired and a bunch of keys have issues. I just deal with it, but it would have been nicer if Apple created a replacement that didn't have the same issues as the initial keyboard...without having to purchase a new machine.


macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2020
The lawsuit has to prove that the repair program was inadequate and that consumer protection laws were violated. You can't sue for having a bad design.

However, it is likely Apple will settle to avoid any further negative publicity and 4 years from now all those that joined the class action will get a check for $15.18 in the mail, and the senior partners of the law firms involved will be able to renovate their summer homes. The system works...


macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2020
It would be very nice information to know what are the 7 states. Update article, please


Sep 15, 2020
The butterfly keyboards were horrendous and it took Apple far too long to correct their mistake. This Lawsuit is justified.
Really? While the rest of us are still waiting after several years for Lenovo to fix the screen warping/bowing issue where the screen won't sit flush on one side and these jacked up Thinkpad X1 computers are the same high price as the MacBooks. I would say you're making this sound like Apple is the only computer company that takes too long to fix things. The Butterfly keyboard MacBooks went through the usual 4 year product cycle and during that time Apple constantly did small upgrades to try and nullify the issue until they switched back to the scissor mechanism. Also during that time there has been a keyboard repair program so don't say they've done nothing.

Christian 5G

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2010
Orange County, CA
I remember being a complete broke early college kid with my first set of finals coming up around may and I had problems with many keys being sticky and only half of space bar working. Took it to Apple store and they wanted to charge me $800 for replacement on MacBook Pro.

I still managed through though without paying, then about a month later repair was available.

This was my first bad taste of Apple and at the time with all the school work it was stressful.

I upgraded to ‘18 that year and bought AC+, still have it.
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