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Apple faces lawsuit in US for faulty MacBook displays, Judge says company knew about defect

Apple is facing a lawsuit for its fragile display cables in the MacBook Pro 2016 model. The Flexgate lawsuit has been carried forward and notes that Apple knew about the defect and kept selling the laptops anyway.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | April 2, 2021 | Updated 11:17 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Apple is facing a lawsuit in the US for its faulty MacBook displays.
  • Flexgate refers to a design flaw in the ribbon cable connecting the body of the laptop to the display.
  • Separately Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit for faulty butterfly keyboards designed in 2015.

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit, this time for its fragile display cables in the MacBook Pro 2016 model. The Flexgate lawsuit has been carried forward by Judge Edward Davila who has ruled Apple knew about the defect and kept selling the laptops anyway. "The court finds that the allegations of pre-release testing in combination with the allegations of substantial customer complaints are sufficient to show that Apple had exclusive knowledge of the alleged defect," the judge wrote in her ruling.

Flexgate refers to a design flaw in the ribbon cable connecting the body of the laptop to the display. The cable is supposed to flex with the opening and closing of the computer, but it wears down quickly with conventional use, The Verge reported. The Flexgate lawsuit has nine different plaintiffs lined up and the judge is inviting them to submit a new amended complaint.

The flexgate defect would cause a stage light issue because of how the cable damage would produce dark spots on the display. Apple had reportedly elongated the display cable design in 2018 with no public acknowledgment, according to iFixit. The 2018 MacBook Pro uses a 2 mm longer cable than the predecessor that reduces strain when the laptop is opened making it less susceptible to display issues. The tech giant was called out for the defect and opened free repair programs after 1500 users signed a petition.

Separately Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit in the US for its faulty butterfly keyboards. The design of the butterfly keyboard was such that even small amounts of dust or debris rendered the keys non-responsive. Interestingly, even this lawsuit claims that despite knowing about the defect, Apple kept selling the product anyway. The Fllexgate lawsuit is not yet a class action lawsuit but could soon become one, as per reports. Both defects were a result of Apple's obsession with thinness that removed all margin for error, as noted by iFixit.

The suit covers anyone who purchased an Apple MacBook with a butterfly keyboard in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and the Michigan States and includes people who bought a MacBook model dating between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro model between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019.

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