A Class Action has been filed against Apple for Defective MacBook Logic Boards. The case was filed by Omar Rosales in the Southern District of Texas. The Class action lists eight counts against Apple with three of them being Fraud under Texas Common Law, Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose and Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability. The filing lists a great number of complaints and several of them are listed in our report.
Nature of the Action
Plaintiffs bring this class action on behalf of purchasers of Apple's "MacBook Pro Laptop Computer" (known as the MacBook Pro) and "MacBook Laptop Computer" (known as the MacBook) in Texas and throughout the United States.
The MacBook Pro and MacBook were represented as being designed as "Portable Powerhouses for creative and professional users." The subject computers were also noted to have, "Ports with possibility. Two USB 2.0 ports (three on the 17-inch MacBook Pro) and a FireWire 800 port let you connect your iPad, iPod, iPhone, digital cameras, and external hard drives."
The integrated circuits, ports, and USB ports reside and operate on the Apple motherboard, known as the "Logic Board". However, the Logic Board is not fit for the ordinary purposes (operating the crucial components of the system and providing connectors for other peripherals) for which it was intended. Instead, the logic board – because it was negligently designed and manufactured – prematurely fails to work and causes components such as USBs and other ports to malfunction. As the Apple MacBook Pros and MacBooks do not have the intrinsic hardware to operate without a logic board and accomplish every computing task (such as printing, backup memory, precision mouse, and connection with wireless devices), the logic boards and USB ports are crucial to the functionality of the system. As the logic boards fail, the MacBook Pro and MacBooks are rendered useless, thus rendering the system useless.
Apple is and was aware of this substantial defect, but it failed to disclose it or warn Plaintiffs and the Class of the defect. As of the date of this filing, it continues to market and sell the defective logic boards, resulting in continuing damage to the Class.
In some instances, Apple has attempted to hide the defect by limiting the number of USB ports on the logic board, rather than repairing the logic board itself. This cover-up shows that Apple had knowledge of the defect, yet willfully and intentionally decided to hide the defect, resulting in continuing damage to the Class.
Furthermore, if taken to the Apple Store commonly seen in shopping malls across the United States, consumers are told that the logic boards cost $310 and upwards to repair. If consumer calls Apple Customer Relations in Cupertino, California, consumers are told that the logic boards will be repaired for free. As a result, Plaintiffs and the Class (which likely number in the millions) have purchased flawed Logic Boards, which prematurely fail and limit the functionality of the laptops.
Class Action Claims
Plaintiffs bring this class action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, asserting claims as Fraud under Texas Common Law, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. §2310(d)(1), Breach of the Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose, Breach of the Implied Warranty of Merchantability, Negligence, and Unjust Enrichment.
Plaintiffs seek damages and equitable relief on behalf of the class, which relief includes but is not limited to the following: providing class members with a safe, defect-free logic board, or if no such product exists, to refund Plaintiffs and class members the full amount paid for their Apple computer which relies on the Logic Board for its power and usage; a refund of the replacement cost of the defective Logic Boards; costs and expenses, including attorney's fees; and any additional relief that this Court determines to be necessary to provide complete relief to Plaintiffs and the Class.
Random Example Complaints & Further Arguments found in the Class Action Filing
On September 19, 2011, another customer notes, "I have a mid-2010 MacBook pro. Had the blue screen several times. It would freeze and hang-up. Started to run hot. Brought it to Apple one month out of warranty and they changed my main logic board and thermal assembly FoC...thank you Apple! Question is, what the heck is really going on with these high-end machines and catastrophic failures? It sounds as if this repair will not be the end of my MacBook worries."
On September 11, 2011, another customer notes, "Wow. I can't believe how widespread this issue is. My early 2008MBP died on Sunday with all of the same issues as op. My computer was also extremely hot when I picked it up on Sunday morning (it had been running pretty hot for some time actually but usually when I pick it up from sleep it's cool). I took it into Apple yesterday and after they performed all of the tests that I had already performed (removing the battery, resetting CMS) they decided to look at it overnight. I got a call this morning and they quoted me about $310 as a flat-rate for the labor and any parts they might need during the repair. Including parts!? Compared to other people's stories it seems like I might be looking to pay a lot more once I hear back from them (or did I just get a "great deal"?)."
On October 10, 2011, another customer writes, "During May this year my 15" MacBook pro failed. The Aberdeen Apple Store told me that the motherboard had died and would cost £800 to replace. Now since it was out of warranty (purchased Oct 2007) I decided to look elsewhere. Found a reputable repairer, who told me it sounded like a common fault with these particular models and they would attempt a repair. After a few days away it returned fully working, however after a couple of weeks it died again with the same fault. Sent it back to the same company on the understanding that they would attempt to repair once more. Returned repaired for the second time, however after a week it died again with the same fault. I again discussed this with the repair company. They explained there is an inherent fault with these models and even to replace the motherboard could be an issue since its the boards that are faulty and a new board could fail within a day, week or of course last a lifetime, and do I wish to take that chance at that On October 14, 2011, another customer notes, "Okay, I have the same symptoms as Keith. Identical. I've already resigned myself to the fact that I will be buying a new MBP this weekend (mine is 4+ years old), however, my question is this: Will Apple be able to recover data on my MBP with a failed logic board? I'm having such anxiety over this! If anyone has had experience with logic board failure + data recovery please let me know! Thank you!"
On December 19, 2011, another customer notes, "Note for all MacBook pro users. If you have apple care, make sure you take in your computer to run all diagnostics before it expires. All I had was a computer that was getting too warm and took the computer in. The warranty covered a new battery (failure), new logic board, and new microphone cable and I had no idea any of this stuff was messed up. All was replaced free of charge. I would suggest everyone take in their computers before the warranty expires to have it checked out. The total cost of the repairs was near 650 bucks...."
On December 21, 2011, another customer writes, "my 4 month old MacBook pro was bought in the UK, after a month or so with no problems, my hard drive failed, it was sent off for a replacement, about 2 months later, the hard drive has failed again. i took it into an apple store in Florida and was informed my logic board was faulty and had been ending bad signals to other components, corrupting the hardware.therefore, every piece of hardware that receives messages from the logic board could be corrupt. I am going to pursue a full refund from the store i purchased it in as the supposedly reliable MacBook pro has completely let me down, and i want to go back to a windows pc."
It is not just reliability at issue here, but the cost to consumers to use their computers for the purposes for which they were intended. Moreover, it appears there is a concerted effort at Apple to keep the defect covert and not inform current or prospective customers about the logic board failures. Nowhere on the Troubleshooting page, does Apple note that numerous reports have been received of logic board failures.
To date, Apple has not taken action to remedy the defects in its logic boards, or to offer any replacement product. Rather, to hide the defect, Apple has decided to further reduce the number of USB ports in its newest generation of MacBook Pro and MacBook computers. In its newest 3rd generation MacBook Pros and 4th generation MacBook computers, the subject computers contain only 2 USB ports and even fewer peripheral ports than its predecessors.
To ensure that the logic board would be fit for the ordinary or particular purposes for which the computer was intended, Apple should have adequately tested logic boards and ports prior to releasing them for commercial sale. Had Apple exercised reasonable care in testing its logic board, it would have discovered that the logic board is improperly designed and causes premature failure of component systems.
Instead, Apple sold defective logic boards to Plaintiff and proposed class members that were not fit for their intended use.
Apple also could and should have tested alternate designs of its logic board to avoid these destructive side-effects. As noted, Apple has been aware of the weakness and defects in its logic board for years.
Furthermore, Apple continues to manufacture and sell its defective logic boards through MacBook Pros and MacBooks that are still available for sale, and replacement components for repair of MacBook Pros and MacBooks, even after it was informed by its own customers of the specific design defects alleged herein.
Apple profits enormously from the sales of its logic board, while Plaintiffs and proposed class members incur damages, including the price they paid to purchase the defective logic boards and the costs to replace them.
Apple has a history of introducing defective products into the stream of commerce, and not informing consumers of significant defects in design. Examples include IPhones with improperly designed antennas; MacBook Pros with defective monitors; MagSafe Power Adapters that caught fire. These defects have only been remedied through Class Action litigation.
Review of the Causes of Action
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Fraud under Texas Common Law)
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act)
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
(Violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
(Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose)
FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
(Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability)
SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION
(Money Had and Received)
NINTH CAUSE OF ACTION
For the record, there wasn't an "Eight Clause" in the filing.
The case was filed in the United States District Court Southern District of Texas McAllen Division. The presiding Judge in this case is noted as being Judge Micaela Alvarez.
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