Aggrieved MacBook owners in two separate lawsuits claim Apple’s latest laptops with its M1 chips have defective screens that break easily and malfunction.
The complaints, both filed on Wednesday in a federal district court in San Jose, California, are each seeking class certification in the hope that the law firms involved will get a judicial blessing to represent the presumed large group of affected customers and, if victorious, to share any settlement.
Each of the filings contends Apple’s 2020-2021 MacBook line – consisting of the M1-based MacBook Air and M1-based 13″ MacBook Pro – have screens that frequently fail. They say Apple knew about the alleged defect or should have known, based on its own extensive internal testing, reports from technicians, and feedback from customers.
“[T]he M1 MacBook is defective, as the screens are extraordinarily fragile, cracking, blacking out, or showing magenta, purple and blue lines and squares, or otherwise ceasing to function altogether,” says a complaint filed on behalf of plaintiff Nestor Almeida [PDF]. “Thousands of users from across the globe have reported this issue directly to Apple and on Apple sponsored forums.”
The other complaint [PDF], filed on behalf of plaintiffs Daphne Pareas and Daniel Friend, makes similar allegations.
“The Class Laptops are designed and manufactured with an inherent defect that compromises the display screen,” it says. “During ordinary usage the display screens of the Class Laptops (1) may become obscured with black or gray bars and/or ‘dead spots’ where no visual output is displayed and (2) are vulnerable to cracks that obscure portions of the display. The appearance of black or gray bars on screen may precede, accompany, or follow cracks in the display glass.”
The Almeida complaint says thousands of Apple customers from around the world have reported MacBook screen problems to Apple and in online forums. It claims Apple has often refused to pay for repairs, forcing customers to pay as much as $850 through outside vendors. And where Apple has provided repairs, some customers have seen the problems return.