Faulty MacBook Butterfly Keyboards Cost Apple $50 Million in Lawsuit Settlement
Apple will compensate MacBook users for their issues with the faulty "butterfly" keyboards.
Reuters reports that Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the class action lawsuit that claimed it was aware of and covered up the unsafe design of keyboards for MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models between 2015 and the year 2019.
A judge accepts the deal in its preliminary form. In that case, Apple will pay customers who require repair work to their keyboards in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
The company won't be required to admit any wrongdoing in the settlement. It will have to continue offering free keyboard repairs for four years after purchase.
Apple launched the keyboard with a butterfly in 2015 when it launched its 12-inches MacBook.
It was designed to allow the laptop to become ever slimmer without compromising stability; however, it quickly gained an image of extreme sensitivity to dust.
Keyboards would become stuck or unresponsive if tiny dust particles or crumbs could slip under.
Apple made steps to prevent the issue (such as using membranes) and eventually switched to more conventional keyboards, beginning with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro in late 2019.
Apple recognized that some users' customers were having issues and released repair programs; however, it maintained it was the case that the bulk of users did not have problems.
Like many class actions, you shouldn't expect a giant payout when impacted.
Attorneys predicted $395 for those who have had to replace multiple keyboards. The payout is $125 for a single replacement and $50 if you only replaced caps on your keys.
Lawyers could also claim as much as $15 million of the $5 million deal as legal costs, restricting the amount of money available to MacBook owners.
While these payouts aren't required, as Apple has provided refunds for repairs, they're more like a symbolic gesture rather than practical.