Apple hit with five class-action lawsuits over iPod battery life

“The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple acknowledged it is a ‘defendant in five separate purported class-action lawsuits filed in California on Dec. 23, 2003, alleging misrepresentations by the company of its iPod digital musical player’s battery life,'” MacNN.com reports. “‘…the lawsuits allege false advertising, fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty by Apple Computer, the filing said. The company said the lawsuits seek unspecified damages and other relief.'”

More information here.

36 Comments

  1. More Whiners, compaining they have never used a rechargeable battery before, and that Apple should have TOLD them that they get weaker as they get older. I say to tell them to grow up, spend the $49 for the new battery, and treat it properly. My 5 Hour TiBook battery now gets 2 hours, Should I make a class action lawsuit out of that as well?

    How many people in the class action lawsuits do you think actualy did the first step of fully charging and fully discharging the battery on the first run? If they can’t prove they did, then they should not be allowed to sue.

    So tired of the money grubbing bastards that feel cheated because they dont understand what they bought. Apple didn’t make the battery, if it lasted 5 hours when bought and made the 1 year age before losing life, then it should be the users responsiblity to replace the battery, not Apple.

  2. Apple could have avoided this by simply making the battery user-replaceable, similar to a cell phone. It is not uncommon to replace a cell phone battery each year.

    In addition, they could have used this to their advantage by making the battery rechargeable outside the iPod, once again similar to most cell phones, so the user could always have a fully charged spare.

    I am amazed that this simple ability (spare battery replacement/charging) for ANY portable product eluded the iPod designers.

  3. I’m going to start a class action lawsuit against the lawyers who started this class action lawsuit. My charge will be that they have irreparably harmed society through their greed, ignorance, and willful misrepresentation of any form of harm experienced by their complainer clients.

  4. I hope Apple wins each and every one of these with extreme predjudice (i.e., if any of these litigants [or lawyers] bring anything similar against Apple again, the courts will quite possibly fine them and may hold them in contempt).

    I think of it this way.

    If the iPod battery fails during the one year warantee you get a whole new iPod even if it is 350 days after purchase. If the battery in my car fails within the warantee period I get a “pro rated amount” off the purchase of a new battery, i.e., if the battery fails after 350 days out of a 365 day warantee I’ll most likely get less than 5% off the price of a new battery — plus I have to pay for installation. I do not get a new car, nor do I even get a completly free battery. Seems to me Apple’s policy is MUCH better than the battery warantees I have been used to all my life.

    If the iPod battery fails after the warantee period is over Apple will sell me a new battery including installation. If the battery in my car fails after the waranteee period the battery company will sell me a new battery plus charge me for installation. Again, it seems like Apple’s policy is much better than the battery warantees I’ve been used to all my life.

    If the iPod battery fails after the warantee period, I can buy a third party battery and they will either install it for me or I can install it myself. If my car’s battery fails after the warantee period, I can buy a third party battery and they will either install it for me or I can install it myself. In this comparison it seems Apple’s policy is no different from my car’s battery.

    Each and every one of these suits should be thrown out of court, with exteme predjudice, based upon these examples (and I am sure there are hundreds of more examples people could cite).

  5. shadowself: Your first and third comparisons are okay, but number two is deceptive. Apple charges you for installation. Just because they don’t add the installation charge separately doesn’t mean you aren’t paying for it. Compare they’re battery replacement price with a third party battery (without installation), and you’ll see how much Apple charges for installation.

    I’m not complaining about Apple’s Battery Replacement Program, mind you. Just keeping you honest.

  6. The Trial Lawyers of America will make a Republican out of Steve Jobs yet. They are the leading obstacle to real tort reform in our country. Although we (The US) are only a small fraction of the planet’s population, we have the majority of the world’s Lawyers.

  7. Although I’m a big fan of Apple, I work directly as an authorized service provider, and Apple’s batteries, as of the last 3 years, are, in a word, junk. Apple informed us that batteries for the white iBooks are a “consumable”, which wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that so many fail after such little usage. Our Apple Hardware tech disassembled one of these batteries and found that there is a small pcb board with some circuits embedded within the battery, and since such parts are listed as “electronic components”, we were able to get Apple to cover these batteries for us. We have a long standing relationship with Apple, and out lead hardware tech has been instrumental in getting Apple to fess up with these “oversights”. By the way, this doesn’t stop at iBook batteries. Granted, we have very little iPod service come through our doors, but enough to know that Apple dropped the ball somewhere along the line. I know, this could be flame bait, but I am not afraid to point the finger at my favorite computer company when they don’t deliver a quality product. Simple fact is, it might do Apple good to be jousted from their pedistal before things get any worse. These things happen, and unfortunately, in this day and age, both teams have lawyers. It is most unfortunate that the class suit needs to be filed, but what other recourse do consumers have? Grin and bear it? Not for a $400 product. There is a leg to stand on, and like my pop used to say “if you are going to do something, do it right the first time”. If Apple followed that advice, they wouldn’t be in this situation.

    Flame away ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. I’m sure no one here really knows all the details in this case, Apple can do wrong. Maybe the iPod batteries are sometimes faulty, if I were a consumer with this problem it would be unfair to ask me to prove that I “did the first step of fully charging and fully discharging”. Don’t forget that we are consumers, and class action suits exist to help us. The lawyers are necessary evils. So I hope the people win if they’re right or that Apple wins if they’re right.

  9. Do you guys remember the Dull laptop that has an explosive battery? I wonder why those boys “lawyers” aren’t filling for a law-suit against Dull?
    I know that it didn’t happen but once with Dull, but an inccident like that one is enough.
    I’d use the F word, but I have too much respect for people who read from this site.
    My 1st iPod is more than a year old and it’s still working like a charm, my second is just a few weeks old and it’s shinning. Love them both dearly.

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