The Cupertino-based tech giant, Apple, will have to face a class-action lawsuit over the faulty butterfly switch keyboard in its MacBooks. Federal Judge Edward Davila has denied the company’s request to dismiss the suit, earlier this morning.
The lawsuit was filed by Kyle Barbaro and Zixua Roa. They accused Apple of knowingly selling the MacBooks with faulty keyboards and suggesting users “self-help remedies,” which allegedly didn’t work. The lawsuit asks Apple to pay for damages and refunds for affected MacBook users who have paid to replace the keyboard.
It all started with the Apple MacBook (12-inch) that made its debut in 2015. It was the first laptop from the brand to feature the faulty, butterfly switch keyboard. These switches had an issue where even a little bit of dust between the keycap and the switch could make the keypresses sticky, resulting in a failure to register keystrokes or sometimes registering the keystroke multiple times even when you press the key only once.
If and when a key goes bad, you can’t just replace it, since it is so delicate that it breaks even when a professional tries to remove it. So, what if Apple replaces the whole keyboard? That would solve the problem, right? Well, unfortunately, that is not an option since the upper case that’s holding the keyboard is glued to the battery, trackpad, and the speaker. So, in order to replace the keyboard, you have to replace all the other components, which is not only expensive but also time-consuming.
Even if the keyboard, along with all the other components, is replaced, there is a high probability that keys might fail again in the future, since the replacement keyboard Apple uses is the same model that the laptop had earlier. What makes things even worse is that every time you give the laptop to Apple for keyboard replacement, the brand will wipe all the user data. So, you have to back up the data before you give it for a service.
That is not it. If your laptop isn’t under warranty, you will have to pay for the replacement, and you guessed it right, Apple will charge you not only for the keyboard but for all the other parts that I mentioned earlier, making it a nightmare for the users.
Apple tried to fix the issue with butterfly 2.0 keys, which made its debut with 2016 MacBook Pro, but the fix failed utterly, as people faced the same problem with the newer keys. In 2018, Apple announced a keyboard replacement program, where it offered to replace the faulty keyboard for free, even if the laptop wasn’t under warranty. While that came as a relief to the consumers, they had to live with the fear that the keyboard might fail in the future.