Macbook users sue Apple

Apple's getting sued by MacBook owners over keyboard failures

Apple's getting sued by MacBook owners over keyboard failures

A little more than three years ago, Apple just announced a new MacBook with a "butterfly" keyboard that was 40 percent thinner than its predecessor, and ostensibly four times more stable than the previous "scissor" mechanism that MacBooks employed.

Data collected by AppleInsider from Apple Genius Bars and authorized third-party fix shops suggests the keyboard failure rate has more or less doubled since the new design appeared.

Professionals who use an affected MacBook as their main machine may want to consider being especially cautious with the keyboard.

The "butterfly" mechanism replaced the older "scissor" mechanism, which is still used by the majority of laptop keyboards, and was meant to make the keys more stable and responsive when pressed. As per the complaint, thousands of users have experienced failures with the butterfly keyboard due to its dust-prone design. When one or more of the keys on the keyboard fail, the MacBook can no longer serve its core function: typing.

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"The MacBook suffers from a latent defect", the complaint reads. Instead of fixing the problems occuring in the keyboard, Apple suggests MacBook owners to try self-help voluntary remedies which will not result in a permanent fix.

While Apple never acknowledged the flaw in public, it did encourage users to clean their keyboards with a can of compressed air. The complaint is seeking $5 million in damages under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and also the recognition as a class-action lawsuit. AppleInsider did my research, according to which new keyboard fail twice as often as its predecessors. The issues have been widespread enough, more than 18,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding a recall of MacBooks with the butterfly keyboard. The suit also claims Apple knew about the keyboard's defects before the product launched in 2015. "Because typing is the primary objective of laptops, over time, consumers have become more and more frustrated with the keyboard defect", Gibbs said.

Clearing dust and debris out of the keyboard is hard.

The suit was filed by law firm Girard Gibbs LLP on behalf of MacBook Pro owners Zixuan Rao and Kyle Barbaro. However, that MacBook Pro is limited to the non-touch-bar version and only those produced between October 2016 and October 2017. Less than a year later, its space key and caps lock became unresponsive. If that fails to solve the problem of non-responsive keys or repeated keystrokes, the only remaining option is fix. However, the device was out of warranty by then.

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