Apple faces class action lawsuit in Quebec over battery life

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Quebec Superior Court has allowed a lawsuit against Apple on the grounds that batteries in the iPhone and other products are not durable for a reasonable length of time.

Apple faces class action lawsuit in Quebec


Apple now faces a class action lawsuit covering Qubecers who purchased Apple products with rechargeable batteries since late 2014 and those who have purchased AppleCare and AppleCare+. Products include iPhones, iPods, iPads, Apple Watches, and MacBooks.

Law firms Renno Vathilakis and LPC Advocat are leading the suit. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for consumers.

The class action was allowed on the basis that Apple has failed to provide products that must be durable for a reasonable length of time. Apple has faced scrutiny for battery life in the past, prompting the company to replace over 11 million iPhone batteries in 2018.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the class action also alleges that consumers were not informed of the legal gaurantee avaialble to them under Quebec's Consumer Protection Act. Law firm Vathilakis has stated that Apple has a responsibility to disclose to customers the guarantees provided by the act prior to purchasing AppleCare.

At present, it isn't clear what the filers consider a reasonable length of time. Apple, and the Canadian government, consider batteries to be consumables and generally not covered under the Consumer Protection Act.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    uraharaurahara Posts: 263member
    It would be reasonable to have the batteries in iPhone last 70 (seventy) years. Because if a kid gets a phone to their 14th birthday, with life exectancy of about 84 years, it is reasonable to want to used your phone untill you die. By the same time your phone's battery dies too. I think we need to pass the law. It's reasonable.
    lkruppjbdragondewmerepressthisFileMakerFellerwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 22
    The Quebec law does not state a duration for, say, battery life. That would be ludicrous considering that some devices are not meant to last as long as others. The law, however, incorporates the concept of “fitness”. That is, that a device must be useable for the length of time it has been sold for. The law does not require a device to remain in the same state than the day it was bought for the lifetime of the product, only that it remains usable. The law sets a quality baseline. And this baseline is not very high. It’s a consumer protection act after all. 
    avon b7randominternetperson1STnTENDERBITSjbdragonmuthuk_vanalingammagman1979GabyMacQcrepressthisFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 22
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,801member
    I reckon as long as an [insert any alt phone company mobile here] battery lasts. 
    repressthiswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,061member
    Apple also fell afoul to EU consumer watchdogs (Italy springs to mind) for not being clear with buyers of AppleCare. They were pushing a sale in store without making it clear that EU statutory rights gave them consumer a two-year guarantee from the start.

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2011/12/apple-hit-with-12-million-fine-for-misleading-italian-consumers/


    gatorguyjbdragonmuthuk_vanalingamrepressthisFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 22
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,114moderator
    urahara said:
    It would be reasonable to have the batteries in iPhone last 70 (seventy) years. Because if a kid gets a phone to their 14th birthday, with life exectancy of about 84 years, it is reasonable to want to used your phone untill you die. By the same time your phone's battery dies too. I think we need to pass the law. It's reasonable.
    Socks too.  Once a person’s feet stop growing it’s reasonable to expect seven  pairs of socks (enough to last through to laundry day) to last a lifetime.  Who knew the lifetime warranty meant, ‘the lifetime of the socks, not the wearer.’
    edited July 17 jbdragonmwhitemagman1979SpamSandwichFileMakerFellerwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,556member
    As a suit filed by lawyers I get that it’s exempt from any requirements of logic, but it still makes no sense. Batteries are an expendable component with a finite lifespan, both in terms of years and charge cycles. Apple’s phones have comparable battery life to other smartphones on the market, so, regardless of battery size, the daily use in terms of a percentage of a total charge for the average user should also be similar. That being the case, the lifespan will ultimately be determined by how heavily they are used.

    The other possibility is that Apple is knowingly putting sub-standard batteries that have a lower charge cycle lifespan, but I have never seen any evidence of this anywhere, and my experience is that you can easily get 3 years of life out of an iphone battery. That’s better than my last car battery did...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    Somebody doesn’t understand battery technology.
    jbdragonmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    MplsP said:
    As a suit filed by lawyers I get that it’s exempt from any requirements of logic, but it still makes no sense. Batteries are an expendable component with a finite lifespan, both in terms of years and charge cycles. Apple’s phones have comparable battery life to other smartphones on the market, so, regardless of battery size, the daily use in terms of a percentage of a total charge for the average user should also be similar. That being the case, the lifespan will ultimately be determined by how heavily they are used.

    The other possibility is that Apple is knowingly putting sub-standard batteries that have a lower charge cycle lifespan, but I have never seen any evidence of this anywhere, and my experience is that you can easily get 3 years of life out of an iphone battery. That’s better than my last car battery did...
    Two points.  First, I expect the main thrust of the lawsuit will be the sales practices for Apple Care.  As Avon mentioned, Apple has gotten dinged for certain practices in the past.  Second, tort claims are all about drawing lines within the gray area between black and white.  If Apple were selling iPhones with batteries that held only 10% of its charge 6 months after purchase, that would clearly be unreasonable and misleading (unless they were very clear about that severe limitation).  Alternatively, an iPhone that held 99% of its charge 5 years later would be amazing and well beyond any standard of reasonable durability.  The plaintiffs believe they can convince a court that Apple's products are closer to the former than the latter (or perhaps they just want Apple to be anxious/annoyed enough to settle before it gets that far).  I'm not worried on Apple's behalf.  Surely they can show that their products are comparable or better than the typical product on the market and therefore there is nothing unreasonable about their battery life.  Now whether they lose on the first point is another question.
    gatorguy1STnTENDERBITSjbdragonmuthuk_vanalingamrepressthisFileMakerFellerwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 22
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 362member
    lkrupp said:
    Somebody doesn’t understand battery technology.
    Some of the Android makers would be $h!ting themselves if this goes through.

    Apple battery 80% after 500 cycles
    Samsung expected to be 70% after 300 cycles.
    randominternetpersonmagman1979FileMakerFellerwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 22
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 573member
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    edited July 17 randominternetpersonlkruppFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 22
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 741member
    mknelson said:
    lkrupp said:
    Somebody doesn’t understand battery technology.
    Some of the Android makers would be $h!ting themselves if this goes through.

    Apple battery 80% after 500 cycles
    Samsung expected to be 70% after 300 cycles.
    My iPhone 7 Plus is 2.5 years old. I'm not sure how to define a cycle since I don't usually charge from an empty state. And I don't know how to measure battery strength. But it feels well below 50% strength at this time, and I'm inclined to get the battery replaced.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    Why aren’t they suing Samsung then? What about all the other devices with non user replaceable batteries? Why just Apple? I’d like to see you explain this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 362member
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    The batteries are replaceable, just not by the user.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 362member
    22july2013 said:
    My iPhone 7 Plus is 2.5 years old. I'm not sure how to define a cycle since I don't usually charge from an empty state. And I don't know how to measure battery strength. But it feels well below 50% strength at this time, and I'm inclined to get the battery replaced.
    If your phone is reasonably up to date go to the Settings, scroll down to and tap "Battery", then tap "Battery Health >"

    That will show you the available capacity relative to new.

    After 2.5 years you could easily have 600- 1000 cycles depending on how low the battery is when you charge and how often. An Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider can run a simple test that will give you the exact numbers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    lkrupp said:
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    Why aren’t they suing Samsung then? What about all the other devices with non user replaceable batteries? Why just Apple? I’d like to see you explain this.
    Per the article, the class action is a multi-part action.  It's concerned with the battery durability and AppleCare.  Specifically, how AppleCare is sold with regards to the Consumer Protection Act.  Samsung doesn't sell AppleCare.  From a practical standpoint, they can't sue everybody at the same time.  So they, like anyone with common sense, would choose to go after the biggest purse to potentially get the largest ROI from the time and resources committed to the action.  Hypothetically, a successful suit against Apple could give them enough of a war chest to chase other vendors, but they can't attack on multiple fronts simultaneously.
    edited July 17 muthuk_vanalingamgatorguyFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 16 of 22
    puggslypuggsly Posts: 26member
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    How "easily" does it have to be able to be replaced? Third parties replace batteries in iPhones and Apple offers a service to replace your battery for a nominal charge ($80) I believe. This sounds reasonable in comparison to say the replacement of components in say cars. Also, Apple is very clear about the expected life of iPhone batteries and backs that with warrantee. If you phone's battery drops below 80% of it's original ability apple will replace it for free. This use to be the reason I told everyone to buy Apple Care, because older phone batteries never last 2 years at 80+% and you got a free battery replacement but in recent years Apples batteries do retain better than 80% for 2 years, making this make even less sense.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    lkrupp said:
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    Why aren’t they suing Samsung then? What about all the other devices with non user replaceable batteries? Why just Apple? I’d like to see you explain this.
    They put larger batteries to mitigate this. Larger batteries mean charging only once even for "heavy" users. Heavy users of iphones would be charging twice a day literally, reaching the charge cycles much faster than android phones. 
  • Reply 18 of 22
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 889member
    Okay Apple defenders, get your insults ready and fire away, 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,556member
    lkrupp said:
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    Why aren’t they suing Samsung then? What about all the other devices with non user replaceable batteries? Why just Apple? I’d like to see you explain this.
    Per the article, the class action is a multi-part action.  It's concerned with the battery durability and AppleCare.  Specifically, how AppleCare is sold with regards to the Consumer Protection Act.  Samsung doesn't sell AppleCare.  From a practical standpoint, they can't sue everybody at the same time.  So they, like anyone with common sense, would choose to go after the biggest purse to potentially get the largest ROI from the time and resources committed to the action.  Hypothetically, a successful suit against Apple could give them enough of a war chest to chase other vendors, but they can't attack on multiple fronts simultaneously.
    I just re-read the article and it sounds like AppleCare is included but not a necessary part of the suit (i.e. it applies to all iPhones whether the buyer purchased AppleCare or not)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    MplsP said:
    lkrupp said:
    sirozha said:
    If batteries were replaceable, this wouldn't be an issue. You can qualify a battery as a consumable item if it can be easily replaced. Because Apple decided to glue batteries in (both in their phones and in their computers), it's no longer a consumable item unless the entire gadget is qualified as a consumable.  
    Why aren’t they suing Samsung then? What about all the other devices with non user replaceable batteries? Why just Apple? I’d like to see you explain this.
    Per the article, the class action is a multi-part action.  It's concerned with the battery durability and AppleCare.  Specifically, how AppleCare is sold with regards to the Consumer Protection Act.  Samsung doesn't sell AppleCare.  From a practical standpoint, they can't sue everybody at the same time.  So they, like anyone with common sense, would choose to go after the biggest purse to potentially get the largest ROI from the time and resources committed to the action.  Hypothetically, a successful suit against Apple could give them enough of a war chest to chase other vendors, but they can't attack on multiple fronts simultaneously.
    I just re-read the article and it sounds like AppleCare is included but not a necessary part of the suit (i.e. it applies to all iPhones whether the buyer purchased AppleCare or not)
    From the article: "..the class action also alleges that consumers were not informed of the legal gaurantee avaialble to them under Quebec's Consumer Protection Act. Law firm Vathilakis has stated that Apple has a responsibility to disclose to customers the guarantees provided by the act prior to purchasing AppleCare."

    To me that reads as if they're alleging the way AppleCare is sold (not informing customer guarantee available under the QCPA) violates the QCPA.  It seems separate from the battery allegation.  That's why I said it's a multi-part action.  Looking at it, I guess it could be interpreted another way.  Regardless of interpretation it still serves the purpose of responding to lkrupp's query of why no one else was sued.
    FileMakerFeller
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