A lawsuit, filed in May 2020, accused Apple of knowingly concealing a display-related defect in a flex cable on 2016 and 2017 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. 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 many.
According to the complaint, Apple was 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.
The judge overseeing the case said that because the defect appeared after the warranty period, Apple was not required to disclose it because it was not a safety issue.
While the lawsuit was dismissed, the judge will allow it to be amended. Plaintiffs will need to add an argument that the issue was a safety hazard, as well as providing evidence that Apple “knew with certainty that the alleged defect would occur.”