It was only 2 months ago that we reported on thousands of users who had difficulties with the butterfly keyboard on certain Macbook and Macbook Pro’s. Now, some of those users have taken their complaints to court in a class action lawsuit against Apple.
As reported by AppleInsider, the lawsuit was filed on Friday in the Northern District Court of California, where the plaintiffs will take on the tech giant.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple knew about the butterfly keyboard defect in Macbook models from 2015 and newer and Macbook Pro models from 2016 and newer. The complaint details the main issues users have been having with their $2,000+ laptops. Namely, these issues involve the butterfly keyboard, where small bits of dust and debris can get lodged underneath the keys, causing an inability to type.
In extreme circumstances, users haven’t been able to press the keys at all due to something being stuck in the butterfly mechanism of each key. This results in sometimes costly trips to the Genius Bar if the device is out of warranty.
According to the lawsuit, “Despite awareness of the keyboard defect, Apple equipped future model MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops with the butterfly keyboard, and continued selling these laptops to consumers at premium prices.”
Apple’s butterfly keyboard causes headaches for some users
One of the plaintiffs in the case, Zixuan Rao, details his frustration at his laptop malfunctioning just one month after he purchased it.
On January 5, 2018, Rao purchased the Macbook Pro with Touchbar for $2,500. In February of 2018, he experienced issues with the ‘b’ key on the butterfly keyboard. After attempting to clear any debris from the keyboard, Rao brought the device into an Apple Store in San Diego. The representative there also attempted to clean out the keyboard, to no avail.
The rep told Rao that it could be sent in for a repair, however it would take a week to come back. Due to Rao’s programming work, he couldn’t be away from his computer for that long. Instead, he declined the repair and purchased a $139 external keyboard, at the advice of the representative.
The second plaintiff in the case, Kyle Barbaro, purchased a brand new Macbook Pro in November of 2016.
Around July of 2017, his space bar and caps lock keys stopped registering. After trying to clean out his keyboard, Barbaro took the device into an Apple Store in September of 2017. Much like in Rao’s case, the representative quoted Barbaro a week for the repair, yet this time the plaintiff sent the device in.
All seemed well until December of 2017, when the space bar stopped registering again. Barbaro took the device back to the Apple Store, however he was quoted $700 to fix the issue with the butterfly keyboard because the Macbook Pro was out of warranty.
In both cases, Rao and Barbaro still have and use their Macbook Pro’s, defects and all.
Thousands of users have also experienced issues with the butterfly keyboard
Rao’s and Barbaro’s cases are only two of thousands like them. The lawsuit says that many other users have posted complaints on Apple forums and elsewhere on the internet.
In response to the butterfly keyboard issues, almost 18,000 signatures have been gathered on a Change.org petition calling for a recall of all affected devices.
In a report from Apple Insider, data gathered from multiple Genius Bar locations across the U.S. showed that the butterfly keyboard in Macbook Pro 2016 models failed twice as much as earlier models.
The keyboards on the affected models were touted as being more stable and responsive than previous generations. Instead, it appears Apple put profit over consumer protection, and implemented faulty keyboards in newer models anyways, even after multiple complaints.
We’ll be following this case, so come back for more updates as we hear them.
You can view the entire complaint here, which has been uploaded by Mikey Campbell from Apple Insider.