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 Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"

Top Rated Comments

Northern Man Avatar
11 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: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiVolt Avatar
11 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: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
collin_ Avatar
11 months ago
2016-2018 MacBooks were an absolute mess
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AxiomaticRubric Avatar
11 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
11 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
11 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)

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