Apple customers that are unhappy with their MacBook’s butterfly keyboard that Apple began using in 2015 can now join a lawsuit against the company, as the judge overseeing the case has given it class action status [PDF].
The suit covers customers that purchased a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2018 and accused Apple of concealing the fact that 2015 and later MacBook models were equipped with keyboards that were prone to failure.
The Verge reports that Judge Edward Davila certified the case on March 8, but the order was sealed until last week. The lawsuit will include those who bought a MacBook between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019.
Apple attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed in 2019 but that was rejected by the judge, who said that Apple must face the claims that the repair program is inadequate or compensate customers for out-of-pocket repair expenses.
Apple’s butterfly keyboards were first introduced in 2015. Numerous users complained that the keyboard on their MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air failed, sometimes more than once. Keys became stuck, keys repeated or refused to work at all. The issues were caused by key failure due to dust and debris.
Apple launched a repair program for MacBooks equipped with butterfly keyboards, but complainants don’t agree that the repair program is a sufficient fix for the issue, as replacement keyboards also use butterfly mechanisms that could fail again.
Apple eventually replaced the butterfly keyboard with a scissors switch keyboard, beginning with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which debuted in 2019.
While the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are not yet asking for a nationwide certification, the law firm pushing the lawsuit is has initiated a survey to determine how many people might be affected.