Apple fails to quash MacBook ‘butterfly’ keyboard class action

A U.S. 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.

Jonathan Stempel for Reuters:

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California said Apple must face claims that its troubleshooting program did not provide an “effective fix” for MacBook design defects, or fully compensate customers for their out-of-pocket expenses while seeking repairs.

Customers claimed that their MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptop keyboards suffered from sticky keys, unresponsive keys and keystrokes that failed to register when tiny amounts of dust or debris accumulated under or near keys.

They also said Apple’s service program was inadequate because the Cupertino, California-based company often provided replacement keyboards that had the same problems.

The lawsuit covers purchasers of model year 2015 or later MacBook laptops, and model year 2016 or later MacBook Pros laptops. It seeks a variety of damages for violations of several states’ consumer protection laws.

MacDailyNews Take: This is precisely the sort of thing that should be litigated. Hopefully, Apple has learned/will learn many lessons from this butterfly keyboard fiasco.

Form over function will get you every time.

Hey, Jony: Enough with the thin.

Everything is thin enough. Sometimes too thin. (See above.) Thinner isn’t the answer to everything, nor is thinness intrinsic to good design. We’d gladly take a bit more robustness and battery life over more unnecessary thinness, thanks.MacDailyNews, June 25, 2018

Eligible models for Apple’s Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro:

• MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
• MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
• MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
• MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
• MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

More info .


  1. Agree MDN. Those keyboards are utter garbage and Apple had to figure it out quickly. I was screwed paying a high cost for utter junk. My new MBP 16” is GREAT! I shouldn’t have had to buy a new machine though.

  2. I’m an art trained person and I believe in beautiful design but even I say that for consumer functional products Design should NOT be over function. Hope it’s lesson learnt.

  3. Mac Daily News, your articles keep getting worse and worse! You use the word “beleaguered” in nearly every post, think I am kidding look it up in Mac Daily News’ search it’s laughable. Also, Jony Ive left Apple in the summer and has since been removed from Apples Leadership page, do your homework before writing a rubbish article

    1. “Beleaguered” is used extensively for a reason. No, I’m not letting you in on it.

      If you could read, you’d see that MDN’s quote was from June, before Jony left Apple.

  4. Now that Jony Ive is gone, hopefully this sort of thing won’t happen again. No point in trying to save a few millimeters in key travel when a fully-functional keyboard is what matters the most. I hope Apple won’t constantly chase after thinness with their products from here on. Maybe this was necessary to teach Apple a good lesson to be very careful when trying to improve something that already works very well. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Apple should stop trying to improve things, but whenever they make a change, they had better test it thoroughly using field conditions and not just in some sanitary laboratory. It’s just that a keyboard is so important and it’s been around long enough to be built so it doesn’t fail in just a few weeks.

    I’m curious to find out what those people in the class-action suit are asking for. Brand-new computers? I’m sure Apple isn’t likely going to produce some special, new scissors-switch keyboard for older MacBooks. That keyboard mess basically prevented me from buying a newer MacBook Pro so I purchased an older model instead. Keyboards are very important to me and I didn’t want to have to deal with some crappy keyboard that might keep failing. I’m quite satisfied with my purchase of an excellent, refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro and won’t be looking to buy a new MacBook for years to come.

      1. The most expensive shave in all history

        engineering to come up with butterfly design
        engineering and additional materials to fix problems with butterfly
        free repair program for affected customers
        lawsuit by affected customers
        PR hit. Entire MB family has taken a huge reputation hit the last 4 years. Only bought a 2019 13″ MBP for parent because of the $280 CAD gift card during Black Friday, thankfully if KB goes kaput she can do without it for several days

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