Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over its faulty Butterfly keyboards that plagued several MacBook models released between 2015 and 2019. According to Reuters, the settlement will apply to customers who bought MacBook, MacBook Air, and most MacBook Pro models during that period in seven US states.
The settlement will only cover customers in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. Lawyers defending the customers are expecting maximum payouts of $395 in case multiple keyboards were replaced, $125 for single keyboard replacements, and only $50 for key caps replacements.
As you may recall, Apple received a lot of bad buzz for its Butterfly keyboard design which was first introduced on the 12-inch MacBook in 2015. Despite Apple trying to improve its butterfly mechanism with four different generations of it, customers kept complaining about sticky keys on MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models that shipped with this keyboard design.
Apple did try to address the problem with a keyboard repair program that launched in 2018, but replacing keyboards with the same models still prone to failure wasn’t exactly a great experience for customers. Moreover, this keyboard repair program only offered four years of free repairs following the purchase of a MacBook, and it wasn’t uncommon for customers to have their butterfly keyboard changed multiple times.
The company went back to more traditional scissor keys on new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models that shipped in late 2019/early 2020. The proposed preliminary settlement still requires a judge’s approval before Apple can forget about this Butterfly keyboard saga once and for all. According to Reuters, though, the company denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.