An Apple class action lawsuit has been settled for $50 million after the company acknowledged flaws in butterfly keyboard switches in several MacBook models (via Reuters).
In addition to being notoriously unreliable, the keyboards included in the 2015 MacBook were notorious for getting stuck; dirt, grime, or dust could cause a key to stop responding altogether or to get stuck, which resulted in embarrassing typos.
As recently as the 2019 MacBook Pros and Airs, Apple tried several fixes for the keyboards, but each did not fix the core issue. It covers all Apple laptops from 2015 to 2019. (A full list of the affected computers is included in the settlement on the first page.)
It will take the judge's approval for the settlement agreement to become final, but Apple's unreliable keyboard design, which Apple discontinued within 2020, might finally be at an end for some of those affected.
As long as they live in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, or Michigan, people who had to have their butterfly keyboard repaired may be eligible for a payout under the agreement. In this settlement, people living in other states are not included in the class.
Despite getting a keyboard repair, you might be eligible for compensation if you still have issues with it
A three-tiered payment structure was dictated by the settlement: The settlement pays the most money to those who had at least two top case replacements (repairing problems with the keyboard required taking the entire laptop apart), and the least to those who had one or more keycap replacements. One replacement of your top case will put you somewhere in the middle.
Depending on how many people sign up to be part of the settlement, payouts will range from 'up to $50' to $395. Another noteworthy fact is that up to 30 percent of the $50 million will go toward attorney's fees, and more will be diverted to other expenses.
Even if your computer still has the butterfly keyboard, those sums won't be enough to buy a new one, but depending on the number of repairs you had, it may be enough to save you some money.
Additionally, Apple's extended service program is to remain in effect, which covers your keyboard for four years following the purchase of the laptop, so if you've got a computer with some broken keys, it may be worth checking into.
A request for comment from The Verge on the proposed settlement did not receive an immediate response from Apple. It is noted in the settlement agreement that Apple has never admitted any wrongdoing in the butterfly keyboard affair.
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