Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the 2018 class-action lawsuit filed over the faulty “Butterfly” MacBook keyboards. Reuters reports that Apple has filed a proposed preliminary settlement, which still requires the judge’s approval.
The class-action lawsuit surfaced after the users discovered that the butterfly keyboard design was prone to failure, with keys repeating letters multiple times on a single press, sticking, and failing to type when dust particles entered the butterfly membrane. A lot of customers also complained about the key travel and the sound it made. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2018, and it was given a class-action status last year.
Apple first introduced the Butterfly keyboard design with the 2015 MacBook. It later launched several MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models with the same butterfly keyboard, but the keyboard design didn’t work out the way Apple intended. It launched a keyboard repair program in 2018, but the company replaced faulty butterfly keyboards with another butterfly keyboard, and the customers ran into repeated failures.
Apple finally switched to the good-old scissor switch keyboards with the launch of M1 MacBooks in 2020. All the Mac models available today use the scissor-switch mechanism and not the old butterfly design.
As per the proposed lawsuit settlement, customers who got their keyboards replaced multiple times would receive $395, those who got it replaced once would receive $125, and the ones who replaced key caps would receive $50. It’s also worth noting that the law firms Girard Sharp LLP and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner and Donaldson-Smith LLP will claim up to 30% of the $50 million settlement to cover legal fees.
Apple denies any wrongdoing in settlement and is yet to comment on the situation.