A lawsuit over Apple’s failed butterfly keyboard on the MacBook is nearing completion. As part of the settlement, Apple has agreed to pay out $50 million to MacBook users who owned an affected MacBook. You could receive up to $395 as part of this lawsuit settlement, and here’s how to get your name on the list…
Background: The butterfly keyboard lawsuit
The controversial butterfly keyboard was first introduced with the 12-inch MacBook in 2015. From there, Apple implemented the design across its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Concerns over reliability and durability quickly emerged, with users complaining of stuck and broken keys, random double letters, and more. Between 2015 and 2019, the butterfly keyboard went through multiple iterations, none of which fully solved the problem for MacBook users.
Apple was subsequently hit with a number of class action lawsuits across the United States. It also offered a free keyboard replacement program, but MacBook users did not see this as an adequate response as they were simply having the broken keyboard replaced with a keyboard that would ultimately end up breaking again.
Apple officially settled the class action lawsuit back in November when a judge approved its plans to pay out $50 million. Lawyers, of course, will get a big chunk of that $50 million, but the rest is set to go directly to MacBook users affected by the butterfly keyboard saga.
Who is eligible for the payouts?
There are three different classes for this butterfly keyboard settlement. The overall settlement class includes “all persons and entities in the United States who purchased, other than for resale, an Apple MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro laptop between 2015 and 2019 that was equipped with a butterfly keyboard mechanism.”
Within that overall settlement class are three subgroups:
- Group 1: Obtained at least two Topcase Replacements from Apple or an Authorized Service Provider within four years of purchase.
- Group 2: Obtained a single Topcase Replacement from Apple or an Authorized Service Provider within four years of purchase, and the repair did not resolve the keyboard issues.
- Group 2: Obtained one or more Keycap Replacements from Apple or an Authorized Service Provider within four years of purchase, and the repair(s) did not resolve the keyboard issues.
The key here is that you must have had your MacBook keyboard repaired to be eligible for the payout (as outlined in the bullets above). Simply buying a MacBook with a butterfly keyboard does not entitle you to a payout.
“If you own a Class Computer and did not obtain a Keycap Replacement or Topcase Replacement within the first four years of ownership, you are not eligible for payment,” the settlement explains.
How much will I receive?
Final numbers are yet to be determined and depend on the overall number of people who submit claims for payout. With that in mind, however, the current estimates are as follows:
- Group 1: Between $300 and $395
- Group 2: Up to $125
- Group 3: Up to $50
How do I claim my money?
If you purchased an eligible MacBook from any source other than resale, you should receive an email from the law firm managing the settlement. You’ll receive one email per purchase. In each of those emails, you’ll find a “Unique ID” and a “PIN.” You may also receive paper copies of this information in the mail.
If you did not receive an email but believe you are eligible for the class settlement, you can manually fill out your information and supply the necessary documentation here.
Once you receive this email, you can visit the Keyboard Settlement website claim form. Here, you enter your Unique ID and PIN. After you enter this information, you’ll be directed to a separate webpage telling you which “Settlement Group” you’re in.
If Apple has a record of the repair, you’ll see which group you belong to and can complete the form to officially claim your payment. If you can also choose to object, exclude yourself, or do nothing. If you do nothing, you won’t get a payment.
If you didn’t get your keyboard serviced by Apple, you’ll see that you’re in “Group 4,” which means you aren’t eligible for a payout. You can, however, manually provide documentation proving that you did have a repair performed by Apple.
You have until March 6, 2023, to complete this process and be considered for payment.
When will payments be sent?
Once the March 6 deadline passes, the final approval hearing will be held on March 16, 2023. Payments are expected to be sent after this, but no further details are available right now.
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