A U.S. judge has approved Apple’s US$50 million class-action settlement resolving consumer claims over certain defective MacBook keyboards, “in a ruling that spurned challenges to the deal,” reports Reuters.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, federal court in his ruling called the settlement “fair, adequate and reasonable.” In November 2022, a California judge granted preliminary approval to an US$50 million settlement to end claims that Apple sold laptops with defective “butterfly” keyboards.
The payment will include $13.6 million in attorney fees, up to $2 million in litigation costs, and $1.4 million in settlement administration costs, with the rest distributed to class members.
The suit covers anyone who purchased a Mac laptop with a butterfly keyboard in seven states: California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan. That includes people who bought a MacBook model dating between 2015 and 2017, a MacBook Pro model between 2016 and 2019, or a MacBook Air between 2018 and 2019.
Judge Edward Davila certified the case with seven subclasses on March 8, 2022, in California, but the order remained sealed until July. The suit was first filed in 2018.
In December 2019, Davila ruled that 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.
The lawsuit claimed that “thousands” of MacBook and MacBook Pro owners have experienced some type of failure with Apple’s butterfly keyboard, thus rendering the machine useless. The suit claimed that the design is such that small amounts of dust or debris impede normal switch behavior, causing keystrokes to go unregistered.
Apple debuted its “butterfly” keyswitch design in the 12-inch MacBook before incorporating an improved second-generation version in 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros.