A class acton lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District Court of California against Apple over claims that the company knew the butterfly switch keyboard used in recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models was a flawed design.
The complaint, filed May 11 in the Northern District Court of California, targets MacBook models manufactured since 2015 and MacBook Pro models produced from 2016. The butterfly keyboard features a low profile which Apple says is more responsive than traditional scissor-type keyboards.
As noted in the filing, “thousands” of MacBook users have had problems with the butterfly switch keyboard, which, in some cases occurs when “minimal amounts of dust or debris accumulate under or around a key.” In doing so, the laptop’s “core functionality” becomes compromised and the keyboard needs to be replaced. Once the MacBook is no longer under warranty, it costs the user hundreds of dollars to fix.
Any decision on the case would rest on whether or not the court believes Apple knew of the alleged keyboard defects before they released the product and yet they still released it. The plaintiffs in the case claim that Apple “knew that the MacBook is defective at or before the time it began selling the affected models to the public.”
Complaints about the keyboard assembly began to appear shortly after the 2015 release of the MacBook. The lawsuit claims that despite having knowledge of the keyboard defect, Apple continued to release macBook and MacBook Pro models with the butterfly keyboard.
The lawsuit asks that Apple be ordered to pay damages, legal fees, and fix or replace defective units at Apple’s expense.
Apple has not publicly commented on the lawsuit.
Earlier this month, an angry MacBook Pro owner started an online petition calling on Apple to recall versions of its flagship laptop that include a keyboard using the much-maligned butterfly mechanism.