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Apple knowingly sold MacBook with ‘flexgate’ display defect, says judge

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

California: Apple is currently facing a lawsuit for knowingly selling out its MacBook with “flexgate” defect, which allegedly  impacted the screen and pretty much rendered the laptop unusable.

Also Read :- Brazil regulator fines Apple of over $2 million for not including charger with iPhone 12

The MacBook owners who bought their devices in 2016 and 2017, began to notice a “stage lighting” effect on their laptops in 2019, which was reportedly happening due to the weak and fragile flex cable that can experience wear and tear with the laptop being opened and closed repeatedly.

Now, after two years, the judge hearing the petition filed by Mahan Taleshpour, who has been representing a large group of consumers accusing Apple of knowingly selling defective laptops, said that Apple would have been alerted about the issue in pre-release testing.

According to a report in Law360, US District Judge Edward Davila sided with the plaintiffs and agreed that testing of the laptops before their release would have informed Apple engineers regarding the issue. So, the company sold the laptops despite knowing about the defect.

Judge Davila determined that the consumers’ allegations against Apple conducting intensive pre-release tests, which the consumers say were conducted by a team of reliable engineers who carried out stress tests etc that would have alerted Apple about the defects in the display, “sufficiently demonstrate” that Apple was aware of the issue.

Also Read :- Apple faces Italian suit for misleading, defrauding iPhone users

“The court finds that the allegations of pre-release testing in combination with the allegations of substantial customer complaints are sufficient to show that Apple had exclusive knowledge of the alleged defect,” the judge said in the statement.

The plaintiff, Mahan said that Apple continues to deny that there was ever a defect in the display cables and has also said that the company tried to cover all evidence of “Flexgate”.

“Apple deliberately deleted comments and threads from its Apple Support Community Forum, which often serves as a go-to place for crowdsourcing information on potential issues with Apple devices,” he said.

Talehspour has accused Apple of deleting comments that outlined “‌‌Flexgate‌‌” and the problem with the display.

Davlin has said that the accusation is correct and it will “act as further proof that Apple was aware of the issue”.

If Apple did indeed delete comments from consumers complaining about this particular display issue from the website, this suggests that Apple was aware of the defect.

Apple has been pushing back in this case by saying that Talehspour bought his MacBook Pro in 2017 and used it for more than three years without any issues until the case was filed. The company has also said that the allegation is based on false assumptions and not “hard-ironed” facts. Apple said that the idea that pre-release testing of the device would have alerted the company of the issue is not accurate.

Alexander Wheeler, who is an attorney for the case, said that the plaintiffs are “naturally pleased” with the judge’s current stance on the issue and the decision to allow the case to move forward.

“Those thin cables stretch and wear out as consumers open and close their laptops,” Wheeler said.

“As those thin cables tear, the laptop display screens — which Apple touts as the ‘best Mac display ever’ — stop working long before the expected life of an expensive Apple laptop,” he added.

Notably, in MacBook Pros released in 2018, the issue was fixed by Apple as the engineers put in a longer and stronger flex cable in the display to reduce the chances of wear and tear.

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