Class-action lawsuit against Apple’s butterfly keyboard moves forward

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The third-generation
The butterfly keyboard was one of Apple's biggest mistakes.
Photo: iFixit

Apple finally moved on from its disastrous MacBook butterfly keyboard, but the class-action lawsuit related to them is moving forward.

A U.S. federal judge rejected Apple’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit today. That sets up the company for a big legal showdown with customers trying to prove Apple knew about serious problems with the keyboard — but kept selling it anyway.

Apple used the butterfly keyboard in MacBooks and MacBook Pros from 2015 until 2019. The company made small tweaks to the butterfly design over the years, but customers still reported issues with keys sticking or becoming unresponsive. The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is the first Apple laptop in years to adopt a scissor keyboard. (It’s basically the same as the Magic Keyboard for iMac and Mac mini.)

Apple’s keyboard woes aren’t over

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila ruled that Apple must face claims that its keyboard-repair program didn’t offer sufficient fixes for the butterfly keyboard design flaws. The plaintiffs in the case argue that Apple also didn’t compensate customers for money spent on repairs.

Apple updated its Keyboard Repair Program earlier this year to give free repairs to all MacBooks with butterfly keyboard problems. The company also made changes so that all faulty keyboards can be repaired in 24 hours.

The lawsuit only covers 2015 MacBook models or later and 2016 MacBook Pro models or later. A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Benjamin Johns, told Reuters he’s pleased with the court’s decision and looks forward to pursuing the case.