Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over 'Flexgate' Issue With MacBook Pro Displays

A nationwide class action lawsuit filed against Apple in Northern California court this week accuses the company of knowingly concealing a defect with a display-related flex cable on recent 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

macbook pro flexgate
As discovered by repair website iFixit last year, some MacBook Pro models released in 2016 and 2017 have experienced issues with uneven backlighting caused by a delicate flex cable that can wear out and break after repeated opening and closing of the display. Impacted notebooks can exhibit uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen, which has been described as a "stage light" effect, and the backlighting system can eventually fail entirely.

Since the issue often takes time to manifest, the affected ‌MacBook Pro‌ units can be outside of Apple's one-year warranty period when they start exhibiting symptoms, resulting in an out-of-warranty repair fee of up to $850.

"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."

Apple seemingly fixed the issue by extending the length of the flex cable by 2mm in the 2018 MacBook Pro. It also launched a free repair program in May 2019, but the program only applies to 13-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2016.

ifixit flexgate cable

iFixit found the 2018 MacBook Pro flex cable on the left to be 2mm longer

The class action lawsuit seeks restitution for all costs attributable to repairing or replacing the affected MacBook Pro units, and calls for Apple to expand its repair program to cover the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The proposed class is defined as all persons within the United States who purchased a 2016 or newer MacBook Pro.

Related Guide: "Flexgate" Display Issues Affecting 2016 MacBook Pro and Later

Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Expos of 1969 Avatar
27 months ago

Do we really need to say what’s going to happen?
No, but let's say it anyway. Apple gets away with no penalty or a tiny slap on the wrist for yet again shafting its customers, conducting business in a shameful way and adding more embarrassment to what used to be a reputable company. You won't agree, but continue salivating over your Apple shares and smile.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
27 months ago

Why is Apple the only computer manufacturer expected to repair out of warranty?
The obsession with thinness has compromised quality & longevity. Butterflop keyboard anyone? Same with this kind of stuff.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
collin_ Avatar
27 months ago
2016-2018 MacBooks were an absolute mess
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AxiomaticRubric Avatar
27 months ago

Why is Apple the only computer manufacturer expected to repair out of warranty?
That's not quite the point of the case. The prosecution is trying to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Apple was aware of a serious defect that doesn't manifest until well past warranty expiration.

The high fees for repairing the defect for certain models are in effect a form of extortion if Apple had foreknowledge.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thejadedmonkey Avatar
27 months ago
Good.


Why is Apple the only computer manufacturer expected to repair out of warranty?
They're not. The expectation is that a computer is sold without any defects.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
27 months ago

No, but let's say it anyway. Apple gets away with no penalty or a tiny slap on the wrist for yet again shafting its customers, conducting business in a shameful way and adding more embarrassment to what used to be a reputable company. You won't agree, but continue salivating over your Apple shares and smile.
No, we typically see Apple finally respond to a lawsuit with a service program.

For example, it took class action for bendgate on iPhone 6 and the butterfly keyboard service programs to be launched.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...