On May 11, 2018, Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (CSK&D) and its co-counsel filed a class action complaint against Apple Inc. alleging that a defect in the MacBook (2015 and later) and MacBook Pro (2016 and later) keyboards causes the keyboards to become non-responsive, double type, not register keystrokes, and otherwise fail.
According to the complaint, filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, this keyboard defect has created major problems for consumers across the country. Apple created the “butterfly” mechanism keyboard that is at issue in this lawsuit. This new keyboard technology supposedly results in an overall thinner laptop. However, the keys on the butterfly keyboard routinely fail when small impediments (e.g., dust, other debris) get under the keys. Apple walks customers through troubleshooting steps to clean the keyboards, but these self-help attempts—as well as the attempted repairs by Apple employees at Apple locations—consistently fail to remedy the defect. When the keyboards fail, consumers cannot use their MacBooks for their most basic purpose: typing.
The complaint also alleges that Apple sold and continues to sell the MacBook laptops at premium prices despite knowing of the keyboard defect and resulting incidents. Further, when consumers with failed keyboards have sought warranty service from Apple, they have been provided inadequate and unsuccessful repairs, or replacement keyboards and devices with the same defect.
Plaintiffs have brought various causes of action on behalf of the putative class, including claims under state and federal consumer protection and warranty laws. If your MacBook keyboard has encountered similar issues, you are invited to fill out a survey available here.