Back in 2019 popular repair website iFixit noted that some 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models were suffering from uneven backlighting due to a faulty flex cable that is prone to wearing out over time. MacBooks that were impacted by the “flexgate” epidemic typically exhibited a “stage light” effect (pictured above) or ended up failing altogether.
This week a nationwide class action lawsuit filed against Apple in Northern California court accuses the Cupertino giant of knowingly concealing a defect with a display component (flex cable) on recent models of the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Since the impacts of “flexgate” are often developed over prolonged periods of time, the affected MacBook Pro units may fall outside of Apple’s one-year warranty period at the time problems begin to arise. With out-of-warranty repair fees topping off at a hard-to-swallow $850 USD, many MacBook Pro customers were hoping that Apple would release a special repair program for the issue.
Instead Apple merely opted to attempt to fix the flex cable component on subsequent models of the laptop with iFixit noting a 2 millimeter increase in the length of the flex cable featured in the 2018 MacBook Pro. After implementing this change, presumably to help mitigate the display issues experienced on older models, Apple finally launched a free repair program in May 2019 which unfortunately only applies to 13-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2016.
The flex cable on the left was found to be 2mm longer on the 2018 MBP (Source: iFixit)
The class action lawsuit seeks restitution for all costs attributable to repairing or replacing the affected MacBook Pro units, and calls on Apple to expand its repair program to additionally cover the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The proposed class is defined as all persons within the United States who purchased a 2016 or newer MacBook Pro.