Apple to settle butterfly keyboard class action lawsuit for $50 million

Apple has reportedly agreed to pay $50 million to settle the class action lawsuit that alleged that the company knew about the flaws and issues with the butterfly keyboard switches and went ahead to build them into several MacBook models anyway.

The company introduced the butterfly keyboards with the 2015 MacBook and as The Verge calls it, they were “notoriously unreliable”. Dust, grime, or crumbs of any kind would make the keyboards stop responding or get stuck leading to typos. The company did try to fix it but failed to find a solution for the core issue. Nonetheless, it kept using the keyboard on devices till as recently as the 2019 MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. Essentially, almost all Apple laptops between 2015 and 2019 were affected by keyboard issues.

According to reports, the judge is yet to approve the proposed settlement agreement but for those users who were affected by Apple’s faulty keyboard design, a solution might be on the horizon. Apple eventually did away with the butterfly keyboard in 2020.

The proposed settlement agreement states that all people who had to get their butterfly keyboard repaired should also be eligible for some sort of payout if the settlement is approved. However, this settlement only applied to people in New York, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, and Washington. Other states are not included in this settlement.

This settlement breaks up payments into three tiers – those who got at least two top case replacements (for whom fixing the keyboard meant taking the entire device apart) will get the most money, people who got replaced one or more keycaps replaced will get the least money, and those who replaced a single top case will get an amount somewhere in the middle.

The payouts that people can get range from ‘up to $50’ to $395. However, the actual amount depends on how many are signing up to be a part of the settlement. Also, about 30 per cent of the $50 million that Apple is going to pay is going to be used to pay the attorney’s fee and more is expected to be deducted for other costs and expenses.

The settlement will also ensure that the company’s extended service program that covers the keyboard for four years bought along with the laptop will remain in effect. So if some of your keys are malfunctioning, you might want to look into that.

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