A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple in a Northern California court this week, accusing the Cupertino firm of knowingly concealing a display-related defect in a flex cable on 2016 and 2017 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models.
According to the complaint, Apple is accused of knowingly selling and marketing a defective product it claimed was groundbreaking, of selling an extended warranty plan which at best covers only a portion of the repair costs (and more often covering none of the repairs), and creating a deeply flawed repair program that failed to fix countless damaged laptops.
“Imagine spending more than $2,500 on a laptop only for it to fail shortly after the manufacturer’s warranty expires,” said PARRIS Law Firm attorney R. Rex Parris. “What’s even more appalling is Apple requiring customers to spend an additional $600 to $850 to replace the screen,” Parris added.
Some MacBook Pro models had issues with uneven backlighting caused by the flex cable wearing out and breaking after repeated opening and closing of the display. The uneven lighting became known as “stage lighting,” with the backlighting eventually failing in many cases.
The issue sometimes took. so long to show up that the affected notebooks could be outside of the one-year warranty offered by Apple, resulting in pricey out-of-warranty repairs for meny.
In response to consumer outcry, Apple launched the “MackBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program” where it replaced the cables only on 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 models and customers who had already paid to have their cables fixed. However, the program did not cover the more expensive 15-inch model and 13-inch MacBook Pros sold after 2016.
“Apple’s 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros all shared the same product defect, but Apple only included their less expensive product line within the repair program,” PARRIS attorney Alexander R. Wheeler added.
Apple quietly fixed the “stage lighting” issue that plagued 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models by lengthening a cable in the 2018 models of the laptop.
The class-action lawsuit seeks damages for all costs attributable to replacing the affected MacBook units, and asks the court to order Apple to expand its repair program to include the 15-inch MacBook Pro.