On Friday, in the Northern District Court of California, a class action lawsuit was filed in regard to some of Apple’s MacBook keyboards. The butterfly design has been controversial amongst customers, and the suit targets some MacBook Pro models manufactured after 2015 that feature it.
The keyboard was used on Apple’s remodeled 12-inch MacBook laptops. The butterfly design doesn’t change the appearance of the keyboard, it instead exists underneath the keys in a way that was advertised as being “refined for greater comfort and responsiveness.” Apple claims the mechanism makes for a smoother and more responsive keystroke, as well as being thinner, flatter and “four times more stable.” Unfortunately, thousands of users have had trouble with the keyboards, which break down when specks of dust get trapped underneath keys, making it impossible to press them.
Apple’s silence around the issue has sparked outrage, even leading to a Change.org petition that demands a recall. It has collected over 18,000 signatures. The lawsuit claims users have also experienced hearing high-pitched sounds when pressing keys. It states that Apple’s refusing to properly address the issue is in breach of both express and implied warranty, and violates the Magnuson-Moss and Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Acts, California Unfair Competition Law, and California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Beyond these allegations, it also accuses Apple of essentially covering up and lying about the problem altogether. A section reads, "Apple knew that the MacBook is defective at or before the time it began selling the affected models to the public. Despite awareness of the keyboard defect, Apple equipped future model MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops with the butterfly keyboard, and continued selling these laptops to consumers at premium prices.” Users Kyle Barbaro and Zixua Rao filed the lawsuit, which asks for both damages and refunds for anyone who has paid to replace their MacBook's keyboard.