Apple sued over 'stage light' MacBook Pro display issue

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
A class-action complaint lodged Wednesday claims Apple was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some units to exhibit backlight display issues.

Stage Light
Source: iFixit


Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the action targets the so-called "stage light" or "flexgate" issue that presented in MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2016 and 2017.

Discovered in 2018, the problem manifests as dark patches that run across the bottom of an impacted MacBook Pro's display, resembling light installations commonly seen on a theater stage. Some users reported that opening their MacBook Pro's display past a certain angle renders the screen nonfunctional.

Independent repair outfit iFixit investigated the "stage light" effect in early 2019 and tracked the issue back to a thin flex cable that connects the display to a controller situated on the logic board beneath MacBook Pro's Touch Bar. According to the lawsuit, these flex cables were defective and would deteriorate over time as the connected display was opened and closed.

Following initial reports of the "stage light" effect, a host of complaints claiming similar troubles surfaced on social media outlets, blogs, a Change.org petition and Apple's own Support forums.

While Apple ultimately launched a repair program covering 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro models, the company failed to include 15-inch Pros and models produced after 2016 that faced identical issues. Further, the tech giant delayed issuing the repair program "despite the fact that it both knew and should have known" the root cause of the problem.

Prior to the repair program, owners were forced to pay out of pocket for costly repairs. As the flex cable was an integral display component, remedying "stage light" often necessitated replacement of the entire screen assembly.

Apple has not revealed when it first recognized complications with the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro, but variants unveiled in 2018 included a longer display flex cable in an apparent bid to fix the issue.

"Apple was aware of the issues with the backlight screen and the defective flex cable, in light of the comments posted by consumers on Apple's discussion forum and that those comments were deleted after they were posted," the lawsuit reads.

The class-action argues violation of unfair competition laws in various states, the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and consumer fraud statutes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraudulent concealment and unjust enrichment are also asserted.

Plaintiffs seek damages, court fees and a judgment requiring Apple to identify and declare all defective MacBook Pro laptops, among other relief measures.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 912member
    Boy! They’re coming out of the fucking woodwork!
    mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,647member
    Ambulance chasers need to be jailed for frivolous lawsuits even ones that have minor merit. Nothing is perfect including lawyers so let’s have class action lawsuits against them. 
    mwhiteviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    rob53 said:
    Ambulance chasers need to be jailed for frivolous lawsuits even ones that have minor merit. Nothing is perfect including lawyers so let’s have class action lawsuits against them. 
    Good idea. Apple needs to start getting aggressive with these scum. Don’t sue the people named in the lawsuit, sue the lawyers. 
    mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Rayz2016 said:
    rob53 said:
    Ambulance chasers need to be jailed for frivolous lawsuits even ones that have minor merit. Nothing is perfect including lawyers so let’s have class action lawsuits against them. 
    Good idea. Apple needs to start getting aggressive with these scum. Don’t sue the people named in the lawsuit, sue the lawyers. 
    Go do it Apple....you becomes a punching bag for these suckers just because you got money...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,115member
    I have a stage light about six-eight cm above the home button on this iPad Pro... just sayin’
  • Reply 6 of 13
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 654member
    Actually this happened to several MBP‘S of mine. Cost 895 to fix when an extra $0.01 of cable would have prevented the problem. They did a free replacement on the 13” but refused to do it on the 15” with the same issue. When you are the one paying 895 most of you would be screaming that Apple should fix it. 
    hammeroftruthelijahg
  • Reply 7 of 13
    "... the company failed to include 15-inch Pros and models produced after 2016 that faced identical issues." - that's the problem right there. Apple knew the issue existed yet they continued to produce and sell products with the defect. Why shouldn't they be held accountable? If this was Microsoft or Samsung you would be calling them shit companies but it's Apple so you're triggered and all emotional - foolishly I might add when you consider Apple doesn't give a crap about you.
    muthuk_vanalingamhammeroftruthelijahg
  • Reply 8 of 13
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member
    This sounds pretty legit to me.   Maybe Apple should have just fixed the damned things.   It's not like these are inexpensive machines.   You pay $3000 for a computer, you expect it to work without problems.   And Apple machines used to.   If it's a flawed design, it's a flawed design.    This isn't bend-gate nonsense - this is a REAL issue.  Stop defending the indefensible.  If Apple did what it should have done, then scummy lawyers wouldn't have had to get involved.  

    I had to have my late 2016 screen replaced, but it was under warranty at the time and Apple replaced it without a problem.   A few weeks later, it would have been a mighty expensive repair and I would have been royally pissed.    

    hammeroftruthelijahg
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Sooner or later it will be a Quality Program repair. 

    Just as there are lawyers that take advantage of an issue that Apple should have quietly addressed, there are others which Apple was in the wrong and has been vocal about not accepting responsibility. 

    Just look at touch disease and how Apple’s response was the touchscreen stops working because customers have dropped their  iPhone. 

    The worst example of a lie was I saw a lady getting her iPhone replaced for that issue and paid for a replacement at the Genius Bar and when they opened the box to her replacement and turned it on, it wouldn’t respond to touch.  

    I guess Apple dropped that one eh?
    elijahg
  • Reply 10 of 13
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,731member
    This was a real issue and Apple should have acted faster and more aggressively to make it right.
    This lawsuit though, will do nothing for the people with the problem. It will end up only lining the pockets of the law firm.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    vivivivi Posts: 1member
    MacBook Pro 15 ”2017 has the same problem!  and authorized technical assistance claims that dirt debris that is causing this problem!  several cases reported on the internet, videos .... and Apple does not speak!  disappointing that!
  • Reply 12 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,755member
    Rayz2016 said:
    rob53 said:
    Ambulance chasers need to be jailed for frivolous lawsuits even ones that have minor merit. Nothing is perfect including lawyers so let’s have class action lawsuits against them. 
    Good idea. Apple needs to start getting aggressive with these scum. Don’t sue the people named in the lawsuit, sue the lawyers. 
    For what?  "Because you sued us" is not grounds for a counter suit.

    And as mentioned by others, it seems this has merit, and Apple dropped the ball.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 13
    yuck9yuck9 Posts: 112member
    DAalseth said:
    This was a real issue and Apple should have acted faster and more aggressively to make it right.
    This lawsuit though, will do nothing for the people with the problem. It will end up only lining the pockets of the law firm.
    There was and still is a problem and Apple won't fix it without being taken to court. So here they are being forced to fix something that should have been fixed then and there. They play, now they pay. They bring this on them selfs. 
    elijahg
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