Site icon Wonderful Engineering

Judge Grants Class-Action Status To MacBook Butterfly-Keyboard Case

Another day and another lawsuit against Apple. Apple might just have more lawsuits than the number of iPhones they have released. So back in 2018, a number of MacBook owners in the states of California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, or Washington, filed suits against Apple. They claimed that the Company knew that their new butterfly-style switches for the MacBook keyboard were defective.

Recently, in an order made on Friday, a judge has granted class-action status to this suit against Apple over their controversial, butterfly keyboard design, agreeing that owners of any affected model in the seven states qualify for this class. Going into further detail, this means that any customer who purchased a 2015-2017 MacBook, a 2016-2019 MacBook Pro, or a 2018-2019 MacBook Air now qualifies for the class. That must be a lot of customers.

The plaintiffs in the suit allegedly claimed that Apple’s actions and some internal documents from the company are enough evidence to show that Apple knew that their new butterfly design was defective from the start. They argued that the company violated several consumer protection laws of the states when it kept selling these defective products to consumers while knowing that they were defective.

The butterfly design controversy has been going on for some time. Apple designed these switches to be thinner, which allowed each key to travel shorter distances when pressed. This saved space inside the chassis and made typing faster. The user response was mixed, some people loved it while some hated it. The bigger problem was that as they made the keys thinner, this made them susceptible to failure especially when dust particles started to gather under them.

The keys would stop working and even required the whole keyboard to be replaced (another money-making strategy perhaps?). A report in 2018, noted that MacBooks needed keyboard repairs at least 40% more often after the butterfly switches were released. But in June 2018, Apple acknowledged the problem and launched a keyboard service program that allowed affected users to get their keyboards repaired or replaced free of charge. Good guy Apple.

By the way, as of 2020, the butterfly switches are gone from the entire MacBook lineup.