What Consumers Should Know About the MacBook Keyboard Class-Action Lawsuit
In 2018, Gibbs Law Firm and Girard Sharp filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Apple sold certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models with defective keyboards.
After several years of litigation, the parties reached a settlement in 2022, entitling certain class members to as much as $395 (CAD 530) in compensation.
The MacBook lawsuit centers on claims that Apple released several laptop models with defective keyboards, concealed the defects from consumers and didn't offer to repair or replace the affected laptops.
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Gibbs Law Firm and Girard Sharp alleged that Apple used a defective design for the keyboard on some of its MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Unlike traditional keyboards, the Apple butterfly keyboard uses a specialized hinge to keep the keys in place. The hinge resembles the wings of a butterfly, which is why it's known as a butterfly keyboard.
According to the plaintiffs, the sleek design didn't work as intended, causing users to experience several problems while typing. Some people reported having "sticky" keys, while others stated that letters didn't appear or appeared too many times when they used the butterfly keyboard.
The MacBook lawsuit also alleged that Apple employees knew the design was flawed, didn't warn customers about the keyboard problems and didn't offer to repair the keyboards or replace the defective models. In 2018, Apple launched a program to replace the defective keyboards with new ones, but it was too little, too late for consumers who were upset by the design flaw.
Apple hasn't admitted any wrongdoing, but the company has agreed to a $50 million (CAD 67 million) settlement in this case. If you belong to one of the three class groups, you may qualify for compensation.
Members of the Group 1 Settlement Class are consumers who had to swap out more than one butterfly keyboard within four years of purchasing one of the affected MacBook or MacBook Pro models. If you belong to this group, you're eligible for a payment ranging from $300 to $395 (CAD 402 to CAD 530).
Members of the Group 2 Settlement Class are consumers who received one butterfly keyboard replacement within four years of purchasing an affected MacBook or MacBook Pro model. Membership in this group entitles you to a payment of $125 (CAD 168).
Members of the Group 3 Settlement Class are consumers who had to replace individual keys instead of swapping out at least one Mac butterfly keyboard. If you belong to this group, you're eligible for a payment of up to $50 (CAD 67).
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If you belong to the Group 1 Settlement Class, you should have received a postcard notifying you of your payment eligibility. To ensure you receive your payment, make sure that the settlement administrator has your current address on file. You can fill out a change of address form online if needed.
Members of Group 2 and Group 3 must submit a claim form to qualify for a payment. If you belong to Group 2, you must indicate that a single topcase repair didn't resolve your issues with the butterfly keyboard. Members of Group 3 must declare that replacing individual keys didn't resolve their keyboard issues. If Apple doesn't have proof that you purchased an affected model and had it repaired at least once, you may be required to provide a receipt or some other type of proof to demonstrate that you qualify.
The deadline for submitting a claim form is March 6, 2023. You won't receive your payment until the court formally approves the settlement and Apple has exhausted any appeals.
The MacBook keyboard lawsuit includes the following models. You may qualify if you purchased one of these models for purposes other than resale.
- 2015 MacBook (12-inch, Retina Display)
- 2016 MacBook (12-inch, Retina Display)
- 2016 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2016 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2016 MacBook Pro (15-inch)
- 2017 MacBook (12-inch, Retina Display)
- 2017 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2017 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2017 MacBook Pro (15-inch)
- 2018 MacBook Air (13-inch, Retina Display)
- 2018 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2018 MacBook Pro (15-inch)
- 2019 MacBook Air (13-inch, Retina Display)
- 2019 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2019 MacBook Pro (13-inch, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- 2019 MacBook Pro (15-inch)
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