Apple is Facing its Second Lawsuit for 2020 over Repairs on the MacBook Pro

Every year, Apple enthusiasts look forward to the new periodic product announcements from the campus of Apple, in Cupertino, California. In such time, Apple announced its new line of laptop computers, the MacBook Pros.

Apple desired to captivate a new audience with the redesigned features of the MacBook Pro, which were made to astound the customer — just like the line of thinner and more powerful iPad Pros with retina display.

The attorneys filed the case in the Northern District of California, the San Jose division. The case number is 5:20-cv-05857. The firm representing the plaintiffs is Marlin & Saltzman, LLC.

Justin Ocampo, the Plaintiff

Justin Ocampo brought this class-action lawsuit against Apple Inc. The representative class members will include anyone who bought a 2016 MacBook pro or later version and had operational issues with the display screen with its ensuing repairs.

Justin Ocampo was a struggling college student who purchased the 2016 MacBook Pro as an aid to prepare college coursework. He noticed that after operating the laptop for an extended period, the laptop screen would either have splashes of dark spots on the bottom of the screen or go to a completely black screen.

Justin contacted Apple for repairs. Apple informed him that repairs would cost over $476. After spending $1,700 to purchase the MacBook Pro for college, Justin was depleted for additional funds. He decided not to fix the laptop since his one-year warranty had expired.

Instead, Justin connected the MacBook Pro to an external display screen for functionality. Sometimes, however, this connection did not work if the MacBook Pro went to a completely black screen.

2016 MacBook Pro

The Vice President for MacBook Pro Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, herald the MacBook Pro as “new gold standard for notebook computers,” “impressive,” and “the most forward-looking, advanced MacBook line we have ever had.” The president of Apple, Tim Cook, praised the MacBook Pro as “absolutely incredible.”

Nonetheless, even though it was noteworthy to want to praise their products as the next best thing to be released technology-wise, the advertising is misleading, since it doesn’t correctly represent all of the issues that the 2016 MacBook Pro became quite known for in the consumer bubble.

The most heavily documented issues with the 2016 MacBook Pro are:

  • Butterfly keyboards with design flaws

  • Thermal keyboards that can became hot

  • Inferior thermal management

  • Stage Light phenomena that can affect the backlight

Apple promoted the 2016 MacBook Pro as the thinnest and lightest laptop device ever. The specifications came in at just 14.9 mm of thickness, and the weight is only over 3 pounds. The powerhouse is 67% brighter and has a color contrast with 25% more pixels. The MacBook Pro costs between $1,499 and $2,399.

Apple released the original MacBook Pro in 2006 and had made several improvements to the hardware. The standout feature of the 2016 MacBook Pro was the color display. The vibrant screen colors were more luscious and richer than any model that Apple had previously manufactured.

Consumers were enticed to buy the latest MacBook Pro released by Apple; however, they were unaware of the design flaws that were hidden inside the device.

Flexgate: The Main Design Flaw

Apple takes a simple fix that should only cost $6 and makes it a $600 issue. The flexgate ribbon is an internal cable that attaches to the display screen by way of the motherboard. In the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models, the cable is short by 2mm.

Since the flexgate cable is short, the consumer will experience spotty and blacked-out pictures on the display screen. On top of that, the consumer cannot just replace the flexgate with a new larger cable; the entire display must be replaced which can lead to costly repair bills upwards of $600. Consumers who are outside their one-year warranty are out of luck.

Consumers had voiced their complaints with Apple on forums — some of which were erased by Apple. For the later 2019 MacBook Pro models, Apple fixed the flexgate issues but never acknowledged all the difficulties with the previous models. This has led to an onslaught of multiple class-action lawsuits.

Act Violations by Apple

The lawsuit alleges that Apple violated several consumer acts in the state of California:

  • Violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act

  • Violation of the California False Advertising Law

  • Breach of Express Warranty

  • Unjust Enrichment

  • Fraudulent Concealment

  • Violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

  • Violation of the Consumer Fraud Statutes of All 50 States and District of Columbia

  • Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability

  • Violation of the California unfair Competition Law

  • Violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warrant Act

The plaintiff wishes that Apple acknowledge its wrongdoing by making concrete steps to advertise positive fixes for future outcomes by fixing design flaws inherent in the MacBook Pro at no cost. Justin Ocampo is suing Apple for compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorney fees and costs.

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