Jul 19, 2022 - Technology

Apple agrees to $50M settlement over faulty MacBook keyboards

Detail of the Lightning ports on a 2019 MacBook Air laptop computer, taken on July 23, 2019
Detail of the Lightning ports on a 2019 MacBook Air laptop computer on July 23, 2019. Photo: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Apple has agreed to a $50 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over the company's faulty "butterfly keyboard" design.

Driving the news: The settlement covers customers who bought MacBook, MacBook Air and most MacBook Pro models between 2015 and 2019 in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington, per the settlement.

  • Apple customers claimed that the tech company was aware of the faulty design, which customers say had sticky and unresponsive keys and that tiny amounts of debris could make it difficult to type.
  • Lawyers for the customers expect maximum payouts of $395 to people who replaced multiple keyboards, $125 to people who replaced one keyboard and $50 to people who replaced key caps, Reuters reports.
  • Apple began phasing out the butterfly keyboard in 2019.

Thought bubble from Axios' Ina Fried: The butterfly keyboards were long-criticized by reviewers and customers, who found them prone to keys that got stuck and either didn't produce a keystroke or produced multiple keystrokes.

  • Apple offered replacement programs that covered the cost of repairing or replacing some problematic keyboards and eventually redesigned its laptops.
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