Apple is not a stranger to any sort of legal action against it. And that, unfortunately, includes class-action lawsuits brought against it by its own customers. That usually happens when it comes to some kind of perceived issues with Apple’s business practices and/or hardware issues with its devices. Which is the case this time around as well.
As reported today by AppleInsider, Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit that covers a variety of different complaints — but they all stem from potential display issues. The lawsuit was filed this week in the Northern District of California, and alleges that Apple has sustained a false and/or deceptive marketing efforts with the M1-equipped MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro. In addition to that, the lawsuit alleges Apple has undertaken fraudulent business practices, misconduct regarding customer support, and has ultimately violated consumer law.
The lawsuit was filed by customers who have been impacted by display issues with their M1 MacBook Air or M1 MacBook Pro.
The original report notes that a law firm known as Migliaccio & Rathod investigated these claims made by customers experiencing the issues. Apparently that investigation led to the discovery that the displays in these newer laptops are easily breakable, making them unusable. There are many customers, at least quoted in the lawsuit, who say their displays have “suddenly cracked” or that they are displaying large black bars.
The users say that these issues were not caused by them, but instead allege that it’s a hardware defect that Apple is surely aware of, and, despite that, is still selling the potentially dysfunctional hardware to customers anyway. It’s here that Apple runs afoul of the marketing efforts, where the lawsuit alleges Apple bills the displays in the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro as being “premium” and durable, among other things.
Per the lawsuit:
These problems often develop while the Class Laptops are closed; many Class Laptop owners have reported that they first observed cracking and/or display malfunction when opening their devices from a closed position. Others report that their screens cracked as they adjusted the screen’s viewing angle in an ordinary manner. A reasonable consumer would not expect such activity to damage their device, let alone cause an obscured display and/or a screen crack that impairs its functionality.
The lawsuit says Apple is not trying hard enough to replace or repair these dysfunctional displays when customers bring the broken hardware to their attention. Even when they are still under warranty. The lawsuit says that customers are quoted high repair costs instead, leaving it up to customers to bear the burden of repair. Some customers say their repair bill is as high as $615 to fix these issues, which they claim should be covered by Apple as they are hardware defects.
The lawsuit goes on to say it’s an unending loop in its current state, no matter if a customer gets their display repaired or not. That’s because if the new display is the same quality as the old one that broke, then it would seem that it’s only a matter of time before the new “defective” hardware also breaks. Which, if a customer is forced to continuously repair the equipment out-of-pocket, could be astronomically expensive.
In a somewhat interesting turn of events, the lawsuit in its current state is not actually looking for Apple to pay out damages, or even monetary compensation for those logging complaints against the company. Instead, the sought after outcome says Apple should “correct, repair, replace or otherwise rectify [its] unlawful, unfair, false and/or deceptive practices.” The lawsuit also believes Apple should remove the “false marketing” regarding the quality of its displays as they are now.
As of August 30, Apple has 30 days to address the alleged issues with the displays and address customers. If Apple does not do that, and the suit moves forward, then it will then seek legal damages and monetary compensation from Apple.
If you have an M1 MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, have you run into any display issues?