Apple knew its MacBook displays were defective and kept selling them anyway

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Apple could not have known that it was setting itself up to get sued when it released its controversial MacBook Pro redesign in 2016.

The lawsuits would not just be for its infamous butterfly keyboards alone, since it seems that there is another lawsuit, over the company’s very fragile display cables. Judge Edward Davila has decided that the ‘Flexgate’ lawsuit is going forward. He rules that Apple should have known that they would fail and still kept selling them.

What the court said

The court found that the allegation of pre-release testing plus the allegations of substantial customer complaints are enough to show that Apple knew and had exclusive knowledge of the defect. The cables would cause the screens to have dark spots near the hinge, producing a ‘stage light’ effect.

When the issue first became public in late 2018, Apple handled it in a way most people did not like.

It started by silently swapping a new, slightly longer cable into new MacBook releases and only opened its usual free repair programs months after a petition by 15,000 people caused the company to get called out in the media.

Not a class-action lawsuit yet

The company must have realized that being noncommittal or trying to ignore the issue would not work. It has been more responsive about issues like this now, with efforts like the free battery replacement program for a small number of 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro laptops that simply won’t charge anymore.

Unlike the butterfly keyboard lawsuit, this one has not reached the class-action certification level yet. However, there are nine different plaintiffs in this case. The judge has invited all of them to submit a new amended complaint.

Now, we wait.