Faulty MacBook Pro Butterfly Keyboards Spark Class Action Lawsuit Versus Apple

Some Apple 2016 MacBook Pro customers have been rightfully upset that the butterfly style keyboards on their machines have been failing at an alarmingly high rate. The high rate of failure for the keyboards led to a petition circulating to try and pressure Apple to issue a recall and repair the defective machines. That same keyboard saga has taken another next logical step as Apple is getting slapped with a class action suit over these less than quality keyboards.

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The class action suit was filed Friday in the Northern District Court of California and highlights multiple claims that target MacBook laptops built from 2015 and MacBook Pro machines built in 2016. Both of those laptops use the Apple butterfly keyboard that the company had billed as ultra-low profile and more responsive. Apple had also claimed that the butterfly keyboards were more robust than traditional scissor keyboards.

The filing alleges that "thousands" of owners of these machines have had some type of failure with the Apple butterfly keyboard, leaving the notebooks useless. The suit alleges that the design of the butterfly keyboard is so poor that even tiny amounts of dust and debris leaves the keys unable to function and register intended input.

Other allegations in the suit include that, in some cases, owners of the affected machines are forced to take the machine in for service at a Genius Bar or authorized Apple repair facility and, if out of warranty, could be forced to pay hundreds of dollars. One of the named plaintiffs in the case is Zixuan Rao, who purchased the MacBook Pro in January and had a keyboard issue a month later. Apple reps were unable to fix the issue and suggested a warranty repair, but the owner was unable to wait the week the repair would take and instead purchased an external keyboard.

A second named plaintiff is Kyle Barbaro. This 2016 MacBook Pro owner had an unresponsive space bar and caps lock key. He had his machine repaired under warranty only to have the repaired keyboard fail a second time a few weeks later. When he returned the second time, his machine was out of warranty and he was told it would be $700 to repair. Reports indicate that the butterfly keyboards fail at a rate twice that of the older style keyboards.