Apple hit with lawsuit claiming M1 MacBook screens are 'defective'

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Apple has been hit with a class action lawsuit claiming that M1 MacBook models ship with a concealed defect causing their screens to become easily cracked.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, follows an investigation into easily cracked MacBook screens by law firm Migliaccio & Rathod. It accuses Apple of violating various warranty, consumer protection, and false advertising laws.

According to the complaint, users have reported MacBook displays becoming obscured by dead spots. It also claims that M1 MacBook models are vulnerable to cracks in their screens.

"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," the lawsuit reads. "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 claims that Apple concealed, failed to disclose, or carried out deceptive marketing practices to cover up the defect. For example, it contends that Apple touted the durability of the notebooks while "actively" hiding the defect from consumers' view.

Reports of easily cracked screens among M1 MacBook owners first started to surface earlier in 2021. Many users reported screen cracks or damage occurring randomly "for no apparent reason." It isn't clear how widespread the issue is, though users have reported it on 13-inch MacBook Pro and and MacBook Air models.

In at least one case, a consumer said that they were advised by Apple specialists that the damage -- a "contact point crack" -- would not fall under Apple's standard warranty.

The lawsuit, which demands a jury trial, seeks a declaration that the MacBook screens are defective, various damages to the plaintiffs and class, and attorneys' fees and costs, among other prayers for relief.

M1 MacBook Class Action Complaint by Mikey Campbell on Scribd

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    If the user doesn’t trap debris between the screen and keyboard that sort of damage doesn’t happen when pressure is applied to the closed device. otoh a slightly higher hinge gap and that wouldn’t happen, though then pressure on the device would stress the entire display unless beefed up….
    ikirwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,778member
    When I was noticing keyboard smudges on the screen of my old MBPs, I cleaned the keyboard.  Problem solved.

    Except now... why clean the keyboard when I can just sue Apple and maybe get a new machine in the process?
    F_Kent_Dwatto_cobradocno42
  • Reply 3 of 11
    sflocal said:
    ...why clean the keyboard when I can just sue Apple and maybe get a new machine in the process?
    ...except that's rarely the outcome. Apple's playbook is radio silence forever followed by (a long time later) offering an in-store fix once it's figured out a way to do that at minimal cost to itself. Whomever replaces Tim Cook needs to see the value of communication to customers, not filtered by company lawyers.

    michelb76
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Still no problems with our M1 MacBook here. 
    ikirjas99F_Kent_Dwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    It's a bit hit or miss. Out of the 20 Macbook we have here, 3 have this problem. Maybe a bad batch? We sent them back and got new ones that have not given this issue so far, but I guess the treatment will be different for consumers.
    darkvader
  • Reply 6 of 11
    ikirikir Posts: 119member
    A world of whiners. I'm an IT, just use PCs for a month and you will kiss Apple feet.
    jas99F_Kent_DFidonet127watto_cobradocno42
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Dave CummingsDave Cummings Posts: 36unconfirmed, member
    I wonder if it was a problem that was also in the Intel Macbooks, but since the M1 Macbooks are so new and a big shift, people think that it's an issue now.  I mean, aside from the processor,  essentially its the same build as the 2020 Intel Macs 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,359member
    JFC_PA said:
    If the user doesn’t trap debris between the screen and keyboard that sort of damage doesn’t happen when pressure is applied to the closed device. otoh a slightly higher hinge gap and that wouldn’t happen, though then pressure on the device would stress the entire display unless beefed up….
    sflocal said:
    When I was noticing keyboard smudges on the screen of my old MBPs, I cleaned the keyboard.  Problem solved.

    Except now... why clean the keyboard when I can just sue Apple and maybe get a new machine in the process?
    First, the fact that the keys leave smudges on the screen means that there is zero clearance between the keyboard and the screen, which is exactly the problem.

    This is a matter of degrees and reasonable expectations for a design. If I put a small rock and try to close the screen it will break. The same with a BB pellet. Would I consider that a reasonable expectation of the screen? No. Now, if a grain of sand causes the screen to crack and break that’s a different story. Expected use of a laptop is to use it as a portable device, putting it in a briefcase or bag. As such it will inevitably be prone to small bits of debris getting lodged underneath the screen when it’s closed. It is not unreasonable to expect a laptop to withstand such use. By extension, a design that doesn’t is a poor design and makes the computer unfit for its intended purpose. 

    Think back to the Samsung Galaxy fold debacle - the original design they sent out worked fine as long as no dust got into the hinge opening. Except phones are designed to be put in pockets where they will invariably collect dust and lint. The phones worked as designed; they were just designed for a lab, not actual use.


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 11
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,359member
    I wonder if it was a problem that was also in the Intel Macbooks, but since the M1 Macbooks are so new and a big shift, people think that it's an issue now.  I mean, aside from the processor,  essentially its the same build as the 2020 Intel Macs 
    Hard to say - my 2015 MBP gets smudges on the screen from they keys so they had already trimmed down the tolerances essentially to zero, at least for the keys. The keys will give a bit (well, a tiny bit - they are the butterfly keys with next to no travel) so it depends on how much the keys sit proud of the chassis. It could also be due to changes in the screen materials. If they changed the screen material or used a slightly thicker gasket behind the screen it could be enough to change a tight tolerance to a critically tight one.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,175member
    ikir said:
    A world of whiners. I'm an IT, just use PCs for a month and you will kiss Apple feet.
    I'm in IT, and haven't seen major issues with Windows 10 (neither with macOS).  Most of my customers have Lenovo ThinkPads, PC's and workstations.  Maybe that's the reason Windows issues are so few in my customers.  I won't expect to have a good Windows experience in a cheap device.  
  • Reply 11 of 11
    I wonder if it was a problem that was also in the Intel Macbooks, but since the M1 Macbooks are so new and a big shift, people think that it's an issue now.  I mean, aside from the processor,  essentially its the same build as the 2020 Intel Macs 

    It's been an issue for several years now.  The ridiculously thin displays are very fragile.  You can't treat them like earlier Apple laptops, they're not up to any kind of rough use at all. 
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