MacBook owners have two months to claim up to $395 over butterfly keyboard woes

MacBook owners have two months to claim up to $395 over butterfly keyboard woes

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After a class-action lawsuit, Apple has agreed to a $50 million settlement for MacBook owners that had to replace their keyboard or individual keys.

Apple has updated the options on the function row

The infamous butterfly keyboard.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

If you bought an Apple MacBook with an ill-fated butterfly keyboard and ended up having to replace either individual keycaps or the whole keyboard, you may be eligible to claim part of a $50 million settlement reached after a class-action lawsuit. The law firm handling the settlement has been emailing class members since mid-December (judging by this MacRumors report) but we wanted to highlight that the deadline for making a claim is fast approaching on March 6th, 2023.

Claims can be submitted via the keyboardsettlement.com website, which says that the settlement class includes “all persons and entities in the United States” who purchased a butterfly-equipped MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro between 2015 and 2019.

There are three main class members. The first includes anyone that had to replace their keyboard (aka, got a “topcase replacement”) more than once. This group should get their payment automatically, but should confirm their mailing address for their $395 (max) payment. The other two groups — which include anyone who replaced their whole keyboard or individual keycaps and found this didn’t resolve their issues — will need to submit a claim form. You can get up to $125 for replacing a keyboard, and up to $50 for keycaps. Settlement payments are only available if your repair was carried out by Apple or one of its authorized service providers within four years of purchase.

Payments aren’t expected to go out until a final approval hearing scheduled for March 16th, CNET notes, and actual payouts could be less depending on the number of class members in each category. 

The butterfly keyboard saga dates back to 2015, when Apple replaced the traditional scissor-switch keyboard mechanism in the MacBook with a new slimline butterfly version. But soon after its release, MacBook owners started noticing that the keyboard had serious reliability issues, where keys could become unresponsive or sticky if seemingly the smallest amount of dust got under the keys. 

Although Apple would eventually ditch the keyboard in 2020, plenty of customers had to get individual keys or even their entire MacBook keyboards replaced in affected models. Multiple lawsuits were filed over the issues, and a class action suit was certified in 2021. Apple agreed to a $50 million settlement in July last year, and a judge approved the settlement in November.

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Jon Porter

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