MacTrast has reported multiple times this year on reports of graphics issues experienced by owners of 2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple has to date ignored the issue, amid claims that it is a manufacturing defect that should be repaired by Apple at no cost.
We noted in August that law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP had begun researching the issue, soliciting feedback from affected users to determine whether a class action lawsuit against Apple might be warranted. The firm apparently found sufficient reason to proceed as it has announced today that it has indeed filed suit against Apple on behalf of affected consumers.
“Our firm recently filed a class-action lawsuit in a California federal court against Apple, Inc. on behalf of residents in the States of California and Florida who purchased 2011 MacBook Pro Laptops with AMD GPUs who experienced graphical distortions and system failures.”
The lawsuit says the issues stem from hardware defects related to the lead-free solder used on the AMD graphics chips in the 2011 MacBook Pro models.
“When the lead-free solder cracks it degrades the data flow between the GPU and the logic board. A small crack can cause the laptop’s graphics to become distorted on occasion. But as cracks in the lead-free solder propagate over time, the graphics issues worsen and system stability decreases, until eventually the computer is completely unusable. This defect related to the lead-free solder connecting the GPU to the logic board (the “Graphics Defect”) limits all computers at the point of sale forward from performing as advertised and warranted.”
The suit notes that Apple’s only solution so far is a complete logic board replacement, which has proven ineffective, as the replacement parts have reportedly failed in the same way, many within just a few days. Apple has also been known to charge customers for the repairs.
The plaintiffs in the case are requesting that Apple acknowledge the defect in the 2011 MacBook Pro models, notify owners of the issue, and pay the full costs of inspections, repairs and damages. The suit also asks that owners who have already paid for repairs be reimbursed for those expenses.
A change.org petition seeking relief from Apple now exceeds 20,000 signatures and affected users organizing in a Facebook group of over 5,000 members.