Apple Slapped With Lawsuit Over MacBook Pro's 'Defective' Keyboard

15 May, 2018, 13:12 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • The second-generation butterfly switches on the Apple MacBook. Image Apple

Two Apple customers, fed up with the keyboards used in recent model MacBook notebooks, filed a lawsuit against the company on Friday in a San Jose, Calif, federal court. The butterfly mechanism switches later made their way into Apple's professional laptop range with the redesigned MacBook Pro in 2016 with a second-generation design.

The lawsuit takes issues with Apple's continued claim that the butterfly keyboard is "superior and highly responsive" with "four times more key stability than a traditional scissor mechanism". If that fails to solve the problem of non-responsive keys or repeated keystrokes, the only remaining option is fix. The class action lawsuit claims the brand knew about the defect before or at the device's unveiling. Now in its second generation, the tech has not received a glowing reception after its mechanism was found to fail twice as fast as MacBooks with a more traditional keyboard.

Like most of Apple's laptops, the MacBook Pros have very poor ratings when it comes to user-repairability, so those faced with sticky or stuck keys have been forced to go down the official Apple fix route.

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Apple has been accused of being unresponsive to user complaints about the issue.

Non-responsive keys often lead to keyboard failure, and Girard Gibbs LLP stated in court that thousands of consumers have complained about the defect. At the time, the company boasted that the new keyboard was much better than others. "Though it appears to function normally when new, the MacBook has a defective keyboard".

Matthew Taylor, who initiated the petition, says that MacBook butterfly keyboards "don't work", but still, the current-gen MacBook Pro models come with a keyboard that can stop working at any moment due to their faulty design. Plaintiffs assert breach of express warranty, breach of covenant of good faith, breach of the implied warranty, violation of the Magnuson-Moss and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Acts, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law, violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and fraudulent concealment. Unlike other laptops for professionals, such as the ThinkPad (which had a butterfly keyboard of a different sort), the entire keyboard is bonded with the top case, requiring full replacement. In early May 2018, Apple customers started a change.org petition requesting that Apple institute a recall of its defective laptops, noting "Apple's relative silence on this issue".

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