Apple fails to get court to drop class-action lawsuit over MacBook’s butterfly keyboard design flaw

On Monday, Apple tried to dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed by MacBook users. The plaintiff claims that the company was not only aware of the design flaws in the butterfly keyboard, but also used certain means to conceal this fact from potential buyers. In a ruling issued in San Jose, California, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila said Apple had failed to make a convincing argument against five related lawsuits.

Apple fails to get court to drop class-action lawsuit over MacBook's butterfly keyboard design flaw

(Instagram via Apple Insider)

The plaintiffs filed a number of claims relating to MacBook models manufactured in 2015 and MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2016. Apple claims to be slimmer, faster and more robust than traditional scissor keyboards.

The reality, however, is that a small number of users find this important component prone to failure during normal use. Apple’s butterfly keyboard can fall into small amounts of dust or debris in some cases, preventing the keys from being used properly, the lawsuit said.

As a result, some keys are unresponsive when pressed, with duplicate characters, or even sticky ness. Apple claims to be aware of the vulnerability, but continues to sell defective MacBook models, so the plaintiffs claim the company is responsible.

In its rebuttal, Apple said it offered users a viable solution to the problem, including various self-inflicted troubleshooting options and a repair program launched in 2018. Earlier this year, the project also covered the 2018 MacBook Pro model.

Apple argues that under the CLRA Act, it has taken appropriate remedial action and will be able to replace or apply for a refund for free if the plaintiff pays for the keyboard repair.

But the plaintiffs noted that the company’s “voluntary” remedies did not address the core issues. Because it still replaces defective hardware with the same components, it does not compensate the user for other self-inflicted costs incurred during the repair.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported an update on the case. Apple seems to be struggling to shake off the negative effects of its butterfly keyboard, as its latest 16-inch MacBook Pro has been replaced with a more traditional cut-out keyboard design.

Finally, the plaintiffs in the case asked Apple to pay for the damages and legal costs, publicly disclose defects in keyboard design, and bear the cost of replacing the laptop.

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