Apple may knowingly deceive customers by selling MacBook Pro laptop models with flawed screen designs that resulted in uneven lighting – known as "stage lights" – on the underside of the display, a judge ruled.
"The allegations of tests before publication in combination with the allegations of significant customer complaints are sufficient to show that Apple was only informed about the alleged defect," wrote the US District Judge Edward Davila in his ruling on Taleshpour against Apple Case against Mac maker to proceed, according to The Verge.
The display stage lighting issue was caused by a weak display cable, and the situation was well documented in 2018 when users reported that Apple silently replaced weak cables with a slightly longer cable when their laptops were brought in for repair.
Consumer repair center iFixit found that the thinner cable Apple used for the design was prone to stretching and cracking, resulting in the stage light screen effect. Eventually, if the cable was not replaced, it would tear completely and the screen would not turn on. The problem has been referred to as Flexgate by the affected customers.
The worrying fact is that the display cable only costs about $ 6. However, due to Apple's penchant for thin devices, you'd have to swap out the entire display, which could equate to a $ 600 bill.
After numerous complaints, Apple created the Display Backlight Service program, which customers can use to send in their 13-inch MacBook Pro for free service. According to 9to5 Mac, however, the 15-inch Pro has been excluded from the program. The plaintiffs in the case then filed a lawsuit against Apple. In the case, plaintiffs alleged that despite knowing that the 15-inch model faced the same display problem, Apple continued to sell the larger Pro notebook to consumers without warning them of the potential flaw.
Davila agreed with the lawsuit, and the judge said Apple knew of the flaws through user reports. Mahan Taleshpour, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, accused Apple of going a step further by deleting comments on its website on the matter. Taleshpour added substance to his claim that Apple's attempt to actively hide the design flaw proved that the company knew about the Flexgate problem.
"When Apple deleted comments on its website from consumers who complained about display issues related to the alleged defect, it suggests that Apple was aware of the alleged defect that was superior to that of plaintiffs or potential class members," he said.
Unlike other MacBook Pro errors, such as B. Problems with the Company's use of the butterfly switch mechanism for the keyboard, this problem has not yet been certified as a class action lawsuit. So far, nine plaintiffs have joined this lawsuit and the judge is allowing the case to continue.
Apple had already fixed this design flaw with the release of the MacBook Pro models for 2018 by using a longer and more flexible cable. The company also reversed course with its butterfly key switches, opting for a more traditional scissor switch mechanism for newer laptop models.