A class action lawsuit that Apple was facing over “Flexgate” issues affecting MacBook Pro displays has been dismissed by a California federal judge, reports Law360.
Filed in May 2020, the lawsuit accused Apple of knowingly concealing an alleged flex cable display defect impacting some 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. The judge overseeing the case said that because the defect appeared after the warranty period, Apple was not required to disclose it because it was not a safety issue.
While the lawsuit has been dismissed, the judge is allowing it to be amended. Plaintiffs will need to include an argument that the Flexgate issue was a safety hazard, as well as providing evidence that Apple “knew with certainty that the alleged defect would occur.”
The Flexgate problem affected MacBook Pro models released in 2016 and 2017, some of which began exhibiting uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen after a few years. This “stage light” effect could lead the backlighting system to fail entirely.
Repair site iFixit found that the problem was caused by a delicate flex cable that was prone to wearing out and breaking after repeated opening and closing of the display.
Apple updated the design of the display flex cable with the 2018 MacBook Pro, and launched a free repair program in May 2019 that covered the 13-inch MacBook Pro models from 2016.
The now-dismissed class action lawsuit was seeking restitution for all costs attributable to repairing or replacing affected MacBook Pro models, and it called on Apple to expand the free repair program to cover 15-inch MacBook Pro models.