Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over MacBooks with 'Butterfly Switch' Keyboard

Apple first featured the butterfly keyboard design with its 12-inch MacBook launched in 2015

Apple first featured the butterfly keyboard design with its 12-inch MacBook launched in 2015

According to thousands of users, the failure is in the butterfly keyboard mechanism which makes the machine useless.

The lawsuit also cites a plaintiff by the name of Zixuan Rao who bought a 15-inch MacBook Pro, only to have problems with the "B" key a month later.

"When Apple does agree to attempt a warranty fix, the repair is only temporary - a purportedly repaired MacBook fails again from the same keyboard problems", the lawsuit alleges.

Another plaintiff, Kyle Barbaro had similar issues to Roa with his 2016 MacBook Pro but the space bar and caps lock was causing a problem.

Several customers complained that they have had to go up to a week without their MacBooks while they were being repaired.

An AppleInsider investigation from April 2018 revealed that the keyboard on the 2016 MacBook Pro failed twice as often as models from 2015 and 2014. Touting the new hardware technology onstage, SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller characterized the keyboard as "much more precise, and accurate". "Because typing is the primary goal of laptops, over time, consumers have become more and more frustrated with the keyboard defect".

The keyboard design that's at the canter of this controversy debuted in the 2015 MacBook, and was later used in the 2016 MacBook Pro. Apple had advertised these keyboards to be "refined for greater comfort and responsiveness".

The butterfly keyboard was launched with Apple's reimagined MacBook in 2015, which replaced the MacBook Air as Apple's thinnest laptop. Current 2017 model year versions fair a bit better, though the model has not been available for a full year.

Two laptop users have filed a federal class action lawsuit against Apple over the defective MacBook Pro (above) and MacBook "butterfly" keyboards. The petition garnered 17,000 signatures in just over a week. Aside from that problem, Apple has generally been hostile to third-party repairs of devices.

This suit quotes numerous complaints from different users who have posted their problems on Apple's own Community Support forums.

Plaintiffs are accusing Apple of breach of the implied warranty, a breach of the covenant of good faith, a breach of the express warranty, fraudulent concealment, a violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act, the violation of California's Unfair Competition Law as well as the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. The number of people who signed this petition, which refers to, among others, the designer John Gruber, who called the keyboard "one of the biggest design mistakes in Apple's history", continues to grow, fueled by the news about the lawsuit. This includes reimbursement for the purchase of replacement laptops.