MacBook Owners' Butterfly Keyboard Lawsuit Against Apple Gets Class Action Certification

Apple customers unhappy with the butterfly keyboards used in MacBook models from 2015 on will be able to proceed with a lawsuit against the Cupertino company, as the judge overseeing the case has given it class action status [PDF]. The suit covers anyone who purchased a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan.

macbook pro butterfly keyboard
As noted by The Verge, Judge Edward Davila certified the case on March 8, but the order was sealed until last week. This lawsuit will include those who bought a MacBook between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2018, accusing Apple of concealing the fact that its 2015 and later MacBook models had keyboards prone to failure. Apple launched a repair program for all Macs with butterfly keyboards, but the complainants believe that the repair program does not serve as an effective fix because the replacement keyboards also use butterfly mechanisms that can fail again.

Apple attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed in 2019, but was unsuccessful. At the time, the judge said that Apple must face the claims that the repair program is inadequate or compensate customers for out-of-pocket repair expenses.

First introduced in 2015, Apple's butterfly keyboards were a huge failure. There were countless complaints from MacBook, MacBook Pro, and ‌MacBook Air‌ owners who saw their keyboards break, sometimes more than once. There were issues with stuck and repeating keys or keys that refused to work at all, with the problem caused by key failure after exposure to dust and other small particulates.

scissorbutterfly2
Apple attempted to revise the butterfly keyboard several times to make it more durable and launched an extensive repair program for MacBook owners with faulty keyboards, but ultimately replaced the butterfly keyboard with a scissor switch keyboard starting with the 16-inch MacBook Pro introduced in 2019.

The butterfly keyboard is no longer in use in any Mac product in Apple's lineup, but there are still plenty of people who are stuck with a MacBook manufactured from 2015 to 2019 that has a keyboard prone to failure. The lawsuit is seeking damages for violations of consumer protection laws in the seven included states, and while the plaintiffs are not yet asking for a nationwide certification, the law firm behind the lawsuit is running a survey to determine how many people might be affected.

Top Rated Comments

The Clark Avatar
17 months ago
The butterfly keyboards were horrendous and it took Apple far too long to correct their mistake. This Lawsuit is justified.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zeezun Avatar
17 months ago
apple defenders in 1,2,3... GO
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mtrm Avatar
17 months ago

Had mine replaced 3x so far and have very little hope it will last any legnth of time after my June 2021 repair program cutoff. Practically begged support to replace it with a 16" but they weren't having any of that.
To be fair, extended repair programs where they replace the faulty part with a similar one that will eventually fail again for the same reason should not be allowed. Same with the 2011 MacBook Pro with the AMD GPU.
They should just recall the devices and replace the faulty part with a redesigned one that doesn’t have the fundamental flaw that caused the recall in the first place.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Falhófnir Avatar
17 months ago
Looking at the butterfly and magic versions side by side makes you wonder why they bothered. Certainly for the MacBook Pro, there was just no need to save the .5mm and create half a decade of aggro.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
17 months ago
Good. It was a horrible design, the product of Ive's ego, universally derided and failed left and right when air got stuck under the keys all for the sake of making it .00000034" thinner.

The added insult to all of this was Apple (as usual) claiming that a "small minority" of people were affected and forced users to replace it at cost until they could no longer say it was "user error" and had to eat the cost themselves.

I hope treble damages are awarded to the plaintiffs.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
17 months ago
Had mine replaced 3x so far and have very little hope it will last any legnth of time after my June 2021 repair program cutoff. Practically begged support to replace it with a 16" but they weren't having any of that.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Could Discontinue the 13-Inch MacBook Pro – Here's Why

Friday November 26, 2021 2:20 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's long-awaited 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, there are early signs that the company could discontinue the entry-level 13-inch model, which is starting to look like an outlier in the product lineup. Last updated in November 2020, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is now an anomaly in the Mac lineup, being the only device with the Touch Bar. With no rumors of a 13-inch...
applerefurbishedgoodastwo

Apple's $95 Million Settlement Over Refurbished Replacement Devices Not Being 'Equivalent to New' Moves Forward

Tuesday January 25, 2022 11:13 am PST by
Back in October, Apple agreed to pay $95 million to settle an ongoing class action lawsuit that accused the company of violating various U.S. laws and regulations by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices instead of new devices when repairs were required under AppleCare. Administrators handling the case have now updated the "Replacement Device Lawsuit" website with details...
macbook air rounded mock purple

MacBook Air and 'MacBook' With M2 Chips Slated for Launch Later This Year

Thursday March 10, 2022 1:52 pm PST by
Apple is working on the successor to the M1 chip, expected to be called the M2, and multiple rumors have already suggested that these chips are going to be used in machines that include a refreshed MacBook Air and a new version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. A new report today from 9to5Mac once again reiterates these rumors, with the site claiming that Apple will introduce a MacBook Air and a...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
macbook air rounded mock green

Everything the New MacBook Pro Tells Us About the Next-Gen MacBook Air

Friday November 12, 2021 3:01 am PST by
With Apple's latest high-end MacBook Pro being such a radical departure from the previous model, some users are now looking to the next-generation MacBook Air and what similar changes could be brought over to the company's smallest and lightest laptop. Rumors already abound about the next-generation MacBook Air, providing a number of insights into Apple's plans for the new ultra-portable...
Flat MacBook Air 15 Feature

Larger 15-Inch MacBook Air Expected in 2023

Wednesday March 23, 2022 11:43 am PDT by
Apple is developing a larger 15-inch MacBook Air that could come out in 2023, according to research shared today by Display Supply Chain Consultants in its quarterly report. The full report is limited to those in the display industry who subscribe, but display analyst Ross Young provided a bit of color on what can be expected. Apple is working on a MacBook Air that's somewhere around 15...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook air rounded mock grey

Upcoming MacBook Air Models Rumored to Feature Two New Display Sizes but Miss Out on Mini-LED Technology

Friday March 25, 2022 7:43 am PDT by
Apple's rumored 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air models will feature new display sizes, but will miss out on mini-LED and ProMotion technology, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) analyst Ross Young. In a thread on Twitter, Young said that the the 2022 MacBook Air will feature a display size of 13.6-inches. This would make it 0.3-inches larger than the current MacBook Air, but...

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...