Lawsuit Against Apple's Faulty Butterfly Keyboards Moves Forward

A federal judge this week rejected Apple's request to dismiss a class action lawsuit over its faulty butterfly keyboards, reports Reuters, which means the lawsuit will proceed.

The complainants believe that Apple knew of and concealed the fact that its 2015 and later MacBook models had keyboards prone to failure and that its repair program does not serve as an effective fix because replacement butterfly keyboards can also fail.


San Jose District Judge Edward Davila said that Apple must face the claims that the repair program is inadequate or compensate customers for their out-of-pocket expenses for repairs.

The lawsuit covers customers who purchased 2015 MacBook models or later and 2016 MacBook Pro models or later, which includes all machines that are equipped with Apple's butterfly keyboard. Apple has faced public scrutiny and many, many complaints over the butterfly keyboard's penchant to fail when exposed to dust and other small particulates.

Apple launched a repair program that covers all of its MacBook, ‌MacBook Pro‌, and MacBook Air models that have a butterfly keyboard, but at the current time, all keyboard replacements are also butterfly keyboards.

Apple has attempted to revise the butterfly keyboard several times to make it more durable, but ultimately, it's still prone to failure.


With the recently released 16-inch MacBook Pro Apple eliminated the butterfly mechanism and reverted to a more reliable scissor mechanism, but the new 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ keyboard is limited to that machine and older models are still getting repairs with butterfly keyboards.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for violations of consumer protection laws in several dates. Benjamin Johns, lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Reuters that he's pleased with the decision and looks forward to pursuing the case.

Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago


"Apple has faced public scrutiny and many, many complaints". please define "many, many": 6, 100, 1000, 10% of owners? Seems more like a made up issue by a few loud influencers, maybe even paid influencers, than a real one. I'd say it was not many, many unless the defect rate exceeded say 2% of owners.

And no don't go saying, "but there is a lawsuit". it is simply fashionable to sue Apple for anything you can. Some have merit, many are thrown out.

Yeah, Apple's butterfly keyboard was a failure. Otherwise, they'd have never finally abandoned the design and went back to scissor switches. On top of this, them abandoning the design, they'll also leave those owners to deal with the problems after the warranties and extended warranties expire. The purpose of this lawsuit isn't just about it being a lawsuit to sue Apple for the sake of it like you'll read some morons spouting off about. It's to ensure that Apple must continue providing support, but better than this, has to provide extended warranties on these keyboards. Not much different than the NVIDIA GPU solder problem that occurred a few years ago. Most likely they'll lose this one since there has already been a precedence of a previous ruling for the failing hardware which required them to cover losses to the consumer.
Apple fanboys and cultists can piss off about this. It's legitimate.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago


"Apple has faced public scrutiny and many, many complaints". please define "many, many": 6, 100, 1000, 10% of owners? Seems more like a made up issue by a few loud influencers, maybe even paid influencers, than a real one. I'd say it was not many, many unless the defect rate exceeded say 2% of owners.

I have had the keyboard replaced twice on my 2017 that is used lightly for office type work and I am neither loud nor an "influencer".

I am very happy for those that like the butterfly and never had a problem but please stop making those of us who have experienced failures out to be drama queens.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago


"Apple has faced public scrutiny and many, many complaints". please define "many, many": 6, 100, 1000, 10% of owners? Seems more like a made up issue by a few loud influencers, maybe even paid influencers, than a real one. I'd say it was not many, many unless the defect rate exceeded say 2% of owners.

And no don't go saying, "but there is a lawsuit". it is simply fashionable to sue Apple for anything you can. Some have merit, many are thrown out.

"Many" lawsuits in the US are frivolous - and class actions usually do not benefit the consumer....However, in this case, Apple has been selling a known defective keyboard. The internal numbers are much, much higher than 2%. The best we can hope for as consumers is for Apple to never repeat this mistake - and to receive some financial punishment.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago


"Apple has faced public scrutiny and many, many complaints". please define "many, many": 6, 100, 1000, 10% of owners? Seems more like a made up issue by a few loud influencers, maybe even paid influencers, than a real one. I'd say it was not many, many unless the defect rate exceeded say 2% of owners.

And no don't go saying, "but there is a lawsuit". it is simply fashionable to sue Apple for anything you can. Some have merit, many are thrown out.

I disagree with you, this issue is actually very widespread and growing. Mine started to have issues typing a few months ago and I didn’t even know about the keyboard problems until I googled it in September.

This keyboard issue is ridiculous, I was at the Apple store last week getting my laptop fixed when the genius told me a whopping 100+ were in line in front of me to get their keyboard replaced. I didn’t believe him until the morning I went in to pick up mine and they sat me at a table with 8 others who all had their keyboard replaced. All entered within 5 min of each other!! And even the genius told me the keyboard will fail again since it’s not a fix... apple really failed here.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
The story of this keyboard would make a great product design seminar. This is just as bad as the Samsung foldable screen.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 months ago
I hope something will come of it! The dumbed down tech design of the forever-Apple butterfly keyboard is a travesty, costing many buyers a lot of money. Personally, when Applke releases a 13 or 15 in Macbook Pro I will sell my late 2018 15" Pro at a loss to buy one with the updated scissor keyboard. I'd like Apple to be onboard with fessing up with the difference! They have forced this keyboard on us it we wanted to be an Apple dev for too long!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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