Apple Agrees to Pay $50 Million USD in Class-Action Lawsuit Over Faulty MacBook Keyboards
Apple has reached a $50 million USD settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit over defective “butterfly” keyboards in MacBook, MacBook Air, and most MacBook Pro models launched between 2015 and 2019 — reports Reuters.
A settlement agreement was filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, on Monday and currently awaits a judge’s approval.
The class-action alleged Apple knew MacBook keyboards that used the butterfly mechanism were prone to fail but concealed it. These keyboards would fail at an alarming rate, with keys easily becoming sticky or unresponsive and the tiniest amounts of dust or debris disabling them. The same issues persisted across multiple generations of Apple’s butterfly keyboard.
Apple launched a repair program in 2018 offering free keyboard service and replacements to users affected by the issue. The company even expanded the program to newer MacBooks that suffered from the same flaw.
However, the lawsuit argued Apple’s service program was inadequate, especially since replacement keyboards provided by the Cupertino, California-based company would often have the same issues.
MacBooks released in 2020 or later with Apple Silicon under the hood use keyboards with scissor switches instead of the butterfly mechanism, and so are unaffected.
The settlement covers customers who bought MacBook, MacBook Air, and most MacBook Pro models between 2015 and 2019 in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. Apple denied any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.
Members of the class are expected to receive a maximum of $395 for customers who replaced multiple keyboards, $125 for those who replaced one keyboard, and $50 for those who only replaced keycaps.
Up to $15 million from the settlement will go towards Girard Sharp LLP and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP, the law firms that represented the class, as legal fees.
MacBook customers also remain eligible for free keyboard repairs for up to four years from their purchases.