Apple Accused of False Marketing and Fraud Over M1 MacBook Display Issues

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit in the United States that accuses it of false or deceptive marketing for the M1-powered MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, fraudulent business practices, misconduct in customer support, and violation of consumer law.

m1 macbook air 1
The lawsuit, filed this week in the Northern District of California, represents Apple customers across the United States who have faced hardware defects in their M1 MacBook Pro and ‌MacBook Air‌.

Over the last several months, a significant number of customers have reported that the displays on their new Apple silicon MacBooks have suddenly cracked or displayed black horizontal and vertical lines, making them unusable. As the lawsuit alleges, those customers said that the cracks and malfunctions were caused by a hardware defect rather than by the user themselves.

While addressing those complaints, the lawsuit attempts to cast a larger shadow over Apple's "deceptive marketing" and "fraudulent" business practices. The lawsuit accuses the Cupertino tech giant of falsely advertising the 13-inch displays in the MacBook Pro and ‌MacBook Air‌ as "premium [in] quality, reliability, and durability," despite Apple allegedly knowing the opposite.

Apple is accused in the lawsuit of purposely deceiving customers by extolling the quality of the displays in the MacBook Pro and ‌MacBook Air‌. According to the case, Apple engaged in fraudulent business practices since its "rigorous testing" of the displays before their release should have made the alleged defect apparent. Despite that, the company continued to release the product.

Despite this knowledge, [Apple] failed to disclose and actively concealed the Screen Defect from...the public, and continued to market and advertise the [laptops] as state-of-the-art premium and durable laptops when in fact normal operation...often results in catastrophic damage, rendering the devices unusable.

"To ensure durability, we assessed the 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ in our Reliability Testing Lab, using rigorous testing methods that simulate customers' experiences," the lawsuit quotes Apple as saying as further documentation that the company was aware of the defect. The company was "reckless" in its failure to identify the weakness, the suit notes.

While fraudulently and falsely marketing the displays as "premium, reliable, and durable," the lawsuit further accuses Apple of severe violation of consumer law, according to legislation in the state of California. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Apple of violating consumer law by refusing to repair the displays for customers, even when they were under warranty.

The lawsuit cites one customer who was quoted $480 for replacing the display in their damaged ‌MacBook Air‌, while another customer was told it would cost $615. In numerous other cases, according to the suit, Apple refused to repair the displays under warranty since the company claimed they were caused by the user and considered accidental breakage.

In some cases, leaving debris between the MacBook and its lid may cause damage; however, the lawsuit states no customer had done so and that the widespread nature of the defect further proves it's a manufacturing defect rather than anything else.

The lawsuit highlights a valid point. For customers, regardless of whether repairs were paid for out-of-pocket or not, the replaced display unit would also, in theory, be defective. As a result, the suit accuses Apple of further business misconduct by placing users in a never-ending loop of faulty displays, leading to costly repairs and then "equally defective replacements."

As a result of Apple's misconduct, [customers] were harmed and suffered actual damages, including that the Class Laptops contain defective screens, have manifested and continue to manifest the Screen Defect, and that Apple has not provided a remedy for the Screen Defect. [Customers] have also incurred, and will continue to incur, out-of-pocket unreimbursed costs and expenses related to the Screen Defect.

In its current form, the suit is not requesting damages or monetary compensation from Apple. Instead, it's asking that Apple reverse its "false marketing" of the quality and reliability of its MacBook displays, as outlined above, and that it "correct, repair, replace or otherwise rectify [its] unlawful, unfair, false and/or deceptive practices."

The suit provides Apple 30 days, as of August 30, to address the customers and the alleged screen defect. Once the 30 days have elapsed, with no action from Apple, the suit, representing Apple customers and others involved, will move forward to seek damages from the company.

The specific amount of damages the suit is seeking will be identified later during the requested jury trial. Though, the collective monetary damages from Apple customers who experienced the aforementioned screen defect is more than $5 million, excluding ill-gotten earnings and punitive damages caused by Apple's "deceptive practices."

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment when contacted for a response to the lawsuit.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro
Related Forums: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Freeangel1 Avatar
16 months ago
I'm sticking with my Intel Macs.

I'm real excited about Windows 11. I think this is gonna be a game changer for Microsoft.

Loosing the ability to run bootcamp or virtualization of Windows keeps me out of owning an APPLE silicon Mac.

So The M1 may be a little faster or even with a Core i9. No big deal to me.

My machines are repairable and upgradable.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThirtyWon Avatar
16 months ago
Will be interesting to see where this goes.

I've been on the wrong end of an expensive fix for what was an obvious design flaw, similar reports all over the internet of the exact same issue ("dusty screen" for earlier 27" iMacs). It really sucks paying for something that was 100% out of your control.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
saronian Avatar
16 months ago
Question - How many defects does it take to get Apple's attention? Answer - Enough for a class-action lawsuit.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ikir Avatar
16 months ago

I feel like Apple has quite a lot of issues with their MacBook lines in general. I remember all the way back in 2012, when the trackpad and keyboard would leave scratches all over the display coating. Will be interesting to be the Guinea pig with the 14 inch
Just use PCs for one month and you will kneel before Apple. I’m an IT and works with hundreds of PCs.. they are totally crap, realibility is a joke other than quality and screen specs. MacBooks have the best screen I’ve ever used and I also work in Apple support as freelance: no issue with M1, everybody is so happy with these machines that is incredible.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
topgunn Avatar
16 months ago
We're not a huge org but we have deployed 56 M1 laptops between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro which I admit it not a large sample size by any means. I have had to send three off to be repaired for cracked displays. In each case, the user had no idea how it happened. Typically, I don't believe them but it is an unusually high number of repairs, historically. There may be something here but I wouldn't plan on anything coming from it.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
davidako Avatar
16 months ago

The article makes it sound like this is only happening to mac M1 users in America. Surely not right? Surely there are customers affected outside America?
Yes but outside America customers are protected by laws that ensure products must be suitable for their purpose so there’s no need to organise legal action over defects.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Flat MacBook Air 15 Feature

Rumored 15-Inch Mac Notebook Coming in 2023 Might Not Be Called 'MacBook Air'

Thursday March 24, 2022 4:41 pm PDT by
The rumored 15-inch Mac notebook that Apple is working on might not be called the "MacBook Air," according to information shared today on Twitter by well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Recent rumors have indicated that Apple is working on a larger-screened version of the MacBook Air that could measure in at around 15 inches and that would be sold alongside the 13-inch MacBook Air. The...
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...
macbook air rounded mock purple

'MacBook Air' Name Could Be Scrapped Next Year

Monday November 22, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Apple could scrap the "MacBook Air" moniker for its lightweight, entry-level Mac laptop next year, a recent rumor has suggested. Apple is widely expected to be planning the launch of a new MacBook Air, featuring a slimmer, non-tapered design, the "M2" chip, a mini-LED display, a notch and white bezels, MagSafe charging, a 1080p webcam, and a range of color options, for release next year....
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...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature

Gurman: Redesigned MacBook Air Delayed to Second Half of 2022, No New High-End MacBook Pro Likely Until Next Year

Sunday March 20, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple has seemingly delayed the launch of the redesigned MacBook Air until later this year, and will likely not launch new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models until 2023, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that Apple originally planned to launch its new MacBook Air with "an all-new design, MagSafe, the M2 chip, and more" at the end of 2021...
apple watch swollen

Lawsuit Claims Swollen Apple Watch Batteries Can Lead to 'Substantial Personal Injury'

Thursday December 9, 2021 10:37 am PST by
Every generation of the Apple Watch has a battery swelling defect that can cause operational failures and injuries from broken screens, states a new class action lawsuit that has been filed against Apple. An Apple Watch with detached display caused by swollen battery, via Shawn Miller. According to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Apple has manufactured the watch in a way that allows the...
nso israeli surveillance firm

Apple Aims to Cut Down on Spyware With Lawsuit Against NSO Group

Tuesday November 23, 2021 10:09 am PST by
Apple today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Israeli firm NSO Group and its parent company with the aim of holding it accountable for targeting Apple users with spyware used for surveillance purposes. In the lawsuit, Apple offers up information on how NSO Group infiltrated the devices of iPhone owners and how it utilized the Pegasus spyware to do so. Apple is asking for a...
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...

Popular Stories

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
android apple fix rcs

Google Again Criticizes Apple for Not Adopting RCS for Messages App: 'Their Texting is Stuck in the 1990s'

Friday December 2, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Google is continuing on with its attempt to convince Apple to adopt the RCS messaging standard, publishing a new "it's time for RCS" blog post. Promoted heavily by Google, RCS or Rich Communication Services is a messaging standard that is designed to replace the current SMS messaging standard. It provides support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, and bigger file sizes, ...
ios 16 2 beta notifiation center

PSA: Older Notifications No Longer Hidden in Notification Center in iOS 16.2 Beta 4

Friday December 2, 2022 5:23 am PST by
In a small but significant change to the way the Notification Center works in the latest iOS 16.2 beta, older notifications are now shown by default without having to swipe up. In the current release as well as earlier versions of iOS 16, users do not automatically see older notifications in the Notification Center like they did in iOS 15, and instead must manually swipe up from the middle...
lastpass

LastPass Hacked for Second Time This Year

Friday December 2, 2022 4:04 am PST by
Password management app LastPass says it is investigating a security incident after an "unauthorized party" compromised its systems on Wednesday and gained access to some customer information. The information was stored in a third-party cloud service shared by LastPass and parent company GoTo, said LastPass CEO Karim Toubba in a blog post. Toubba said the hackers used information stolen from ...
Apple Card Savings

Apple Card Customer Agreement Updated for 'Upcoming' Savings Account Feature

Friday December 2, 2022 11:43 am PST by
Goldman Sachs this week updated its Apple Card customer agreement to reflect the credit card's upcoming Daily Cash savings account feature, which was expected to launch with iOS 16.1 but appears to have been delayed. "To enable new ways to use Daily Cash like the upcoming Savings account feature, we are updating the Daily Cash Program section of your Apple Card Customer Agreement," reads an...