Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Apple for MacBook Pro "Flexgate" Scandal
Tech giant accused of violating the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
PARRIS Law Firm of Lancaster, CA filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against technology giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) on behalf of class members on May 6, 2020, alleging, among other items, that the company violated the Song-Beverly Warranty Act. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges that Apple knowingly concealed a defect in their 2016 MacBook Pro display cable. Known by consumers as "Flexgate", the suit claims that a flexible cable within the display rubs internal components every time the display is opened and closes, eventually leading to failure of the display.
According to the filing, Lead Plaintiff Mahan Taleshpour purchased a new 15-inch 2016 MacBook Pro in April of 2017, and the display began to fail in January 2020. He took his MacBook Pro to an Apple Authorized Service Provider in March of 2020, but he was told that the repair was not covered under the AppleCare program and it would cost $850 to fix. The plaintiff's MacBook Pro remains unrepaired as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Apple's 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros all shared the same product defect, but Apple only included their less expensive product line within the repair program." —PARRIS attorney Alexander R. Wheeler
The complaint lists numerous examples of other consumers who have had the "Flexgate" issue, and mentions a Change.org petition requesting that "Apple launch an extended warranty program addressed to this issue as soon as possible."
The complaint says, "although the cables themselves would normally cost only a few dollars to replace, in an effort to make the display as thin as possible, Apple designed the cables as part of the display itself. Consequently, the cables cannot be individually replaced. Instead, the entire display unit needs to be replaced when the display cables tear."
Apple launched the "13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program" in May 2019 which covers certain 13-inch MacBook Pro models for up to 4 years after first retail sale date, but this program has not been extended to cover the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The Class Action Complaint accuses Apple of:
• Violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law
• Fraudulent Concealment, and
• Violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act of 1970, also known as the California Lemon Law, protects consumers in several ways:
• Puts in place mechanisms to ensure that buyers of consumer goods obtain the benefit of an express warranty given with the goods.
• Provides that every retail sale of consumer goods in California is accompanied by certain implied warranties and strictly limits how those warranties may be disclaimed.
• Establishes for buyers of consumer goods damaged by a failure to comply with an obligation under the Song-Beverly Act or under an express or implied warranty remedies of damages, equitable relief, civil penalties, and recovery of litigation costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees.
A press release by the PARRIS Law Firm states, "According to the complaint, Apple is accused of knowingly selling and marketing a defective product it claimed was groundbreaking, of selling an extended warranty plan which at best covers only a portion of the repair costs (and more often covering none of the repairs), and creating a deeply flawed repair program that failed to fix countless damaged laptops."
The case, Mahan Taleshpour et al. v. Apple, Inc., was filed in the United States District Court Northern District of California, and is Case Number 5:20-cv-03122-VKD.
A copy of the complaint can be viewed here.
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