Apple Slapped With Class-Action Lawsuit Over Dirty MacBooks And iMacs Lacking Dust Filters

A class-action lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California accuses Apple of using literally dirty design tactics with its iMac and MacBook computer systems. More specifically, the lawsuit alleges that some iMac and MacBook owners report "consistent problems with dark smudges on their screens" and other problems stemming from a lack of any dust filters.

iMac Screen
Image Source: Hagens Berman

"The computer intakes air to cool its components, but with no filter, dust gets trapped inside. This affects the screen and logic board of the computer, leading to dust stuck behind the screen and gummed up motherboards, causing the computer to run slow and/or overheat," Hagens Berman, the law firm handling the class-action suit, explains.

In addition to "dark smudges and spots on the interior of the screens," the class-action suit (PDF) claims affected users are seeing "excessive slowness and break downs" from dust getting insider their systems. The lawsuit further alleges that the smudging on the displays "substantially interferes with the functionality and use of the premium displays on affected systems," noting that they're used for various creative purposes, such as photo editing and digital illustration.

"When iMac owners raise the issue with Apple, Apple refuses to remedy the defect, forcing owners of affected iMacs to pay more than $500 to fix this screen defect, and even more if they wish to replace parts integral to the computer's speed and performance," Hagens Berman says.

The lawsuit actually quotes a higher figure—$600 instead of $500, to replace the entire screen. It also mentions the existence of a much cheaper fix, which entails removing the screen with a suction cup and then cleaning it with a soft rag.

iMac Screen
Image Source: Hagens Berman

One of the plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit "works as a photographer." The lawsuit states she purchased a 27-inch iMac with a 5K Retina display for approximately $2,700, for the purpose of touching up photos as part of her photography business.

"About nine months after her purchase, she began to notice dark smudges on the bottom corners of her screen. She initially thought that the smudges were on the outside of the screen (not insider the computer), so she used a microfiber cloth to try to rub out the smudges. But rubbing a cloth on the screen did not remove the smudges," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges that iMac and MacBook models from 2013 to 2018 are affected, and seeks monetary compensation, including out-of-pocket repair costs.
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