Court upholds Apple plan to pay $50 million to settle Butterfly keyboard lawsuit

Julie Clover

Apple's plan to pay $50 million to settle a long-running class action lawsuit over a faulty butterfly keyboard today received preliminary approval from a California federal judge (via Law360). The payment will include $13.6 million in attorneys' fees, up to $2 million in legal fees and $1.4 million in administrative dispute resolution costs, with the remainder distributed to class members.

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This 2018 lawsuit covers customers in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington who complained that Apple was well aware of a faulty keyboard mechanism used in computers MacBook Pro between 2015 and 2019. The lawsuit alleged that Apple covered up the defect from consumers in order to continue selling the devices.

Apple added a butterfly keyboard to the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers in 2015 and 2016, saying the keyboard provides superior key feel and stability, and allows for a thinner design. Shortly after the release of the first Macs with butterfly keyboards, customers learned that they were prone to crashes.

Thousands of people have experienced issues with repeated keys, sticky keys, and keys that otherwise wouldn't work due to being hit dust and other particulate matter. butterfly mechanism. Complaints sparked a huge controversy about butterfly technology, and Apple launched a keyboard repair program in June 2018.

The repair program covered MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and ‌MacBook Air‌ the models are only four years old, and Apple has only replaced butterfly keyboards with another butterfly keyboard, so some customers have experienced repeat failures that are eventually no longer covered. The lawsuit alleged that Apple's repair program was not enough for this reason.

Apple tried to improve the butterfly mechanism to make it more durable, so there were three generations of butterfly keyboards in total, but they were all prone to failure. Apple had to replace the butterfly keyboard with a more robust scissor-switch keyboard, with the company discontinuing the latest butterfly keyboard in 2020. All Macs now use the scissor switch mechanism, which does not experience these issues.

Apple originally agreed to a settlement in mid-2022, but it has now received early approval from the judge overseeing the case. Settlement customer rewards will be based on the number of repairs required, with amounts up to $395 for those who have had two or more topcase replacements.

Mac owners who have had their butterfly keyboard replaced will begin receiving notifications of class. later in December.

Tag: Butterfly Keyboard Troubleshooting Guide[ 3 comments ]

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