Judge rejects Apple's motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit over its butterfly keyboard, case will proceed

MacBook Keyboard
MacBook Keyboard (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/iMore)

What you need to know

  • A California judge has rejected a motion by Apple to have a class-action lawsuit over its butterfly keyboards dismissed.
  • The case will proceed, and Apple will have to answer claims it did not provide an "effective fix" to the issue.
  • It is also claimed it did not fully compensate customers, and that its service program was inadequate because the replacement keyboards also had the same problem.

A California judge has rejected Apple's motion to have a class-action lawsuit against the company dismissed. The suit claims that Apple knowingly concealed the fact that its butterfly keyboards in previous generations of the MacBook were prone to failure.

As reported by Reuters, the case was filed in May of 2018. On Monday, December 2, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila rejected Apple's motion to have the class-action dismissed:

A federal judge on Monday rejected Apple Inc's bid to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit by customers who said it knew and concealed how the "butterfly" keyboards on its MacBook laptop computers were prone to failure.

As the report notes, this means that Apple "must face claims" that the troubleshooting program offered for its troubled butterfly keyboards was insufficient and did not provide an "effective fix" to remedy the problem. It is also claimed that Apple did not fully compensate customers for their out-of-pocket expenses whilst repairs were carried out. It is further claimed that the service program offered by Apple was inadequate because replacement keyboards often fell foul of the same issue that plagued the originals.

From the word go, Apple's butterfly keyboards in previous MacBooks were extremely prone to dust and debris that would find its way under your keys and into the keyboard's mechanism. Because the travel time of the butterfly keyboard was so slight, this often rendered the key totally useless. The problem was so extensive that Apple ditched the butterfly keyboard in favor of an all-new scissor mechanism in its latest 16-inch MacBook Pro. Despite that change, it seems that Apple will still be forced to answer for the transgression, at least in California.

The lawsuit covers purchasers of MacBook laptops from 2015 onwards and MacBook Pro laptops from 2016 or later. According to the report, "it seeks a variety of damages for violations of several states' consumer protection laws."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9