Apple to settle  million Butterfly keyboard lawsuit

Apple to settle $50 million Butterfly keyboard lawsuit

Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class action lawsuit that alleges the company was aware of bugs with the butterfly keyboard switches it installed in several MacBook models (via Reuters).

The keyboards introduced with the 2015 MacBook were notoriously unreliable; Basically, any kind of dirt, crumbs, or dust can cause a key to become unresponsive or stuck, leading to embarrassing typos. Apple tried several fixes for the keyboards, but each new generation failed to fix the core issue, as computers weren’t affected until the MacBook Pros and Air 2019. (A full list of affected computers is included on the first page of the comparison, but it’s basically all 2015-2019 Apple laptops.)

The judge has yet to approve the proposed settlement agreement, but the end may finally be in sight for some of those burned by Apple’s unreliable keyboard design, which the company scrapped in 2020.

Under the agreement, people who had their butterfly keyboard repaired should be entitled to some kind of payout if the settlement is approved — as long as they live in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington or Michigan. People in other states are not included in the class for this settlement.

The comparison breaks payments down into three tiers: people who received at least two top case replacement parts (fixing keyboard issues basically meant taking the entire laptop apart) get the most money, while people who received one or received several keycap replacement parts, the most money get the least. If you have a single top case replacement you will fall somewhere in the middle.

Estimated payouts range from “up to $50” to $395, although actual amounts will depend on how many people sign up to be part of the settlement. It’s also worth noting that up to 30 percent of the $50 million will go toward attorneys’ fees, and more will be siphoned off for other costs and expenses.

Those sums won’t be enough to buy a new computer if yours still has the butterfly keyboard, but depending on how many repairs you’ve gone through, it could knock off a fairly large chunk. The settlement also ensures that Apple’s extended service program, which covers your keyboard four years after you buy the laptop, remains in effect. So if you have a computer with some broken keys, it may be worth checking.

Apple didn’t immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment on the proposed settlement. As the agreement notes, Apple has not admitted any wrongdoing in the Butterfly Keyboard affair, and the settlement agreement means that likely never will be the case.

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