Three owners of MacBooks purchased in 2011 have filed a class-action suit against Apple alleging their PCs have defective graphics cards and that the company refuses to pay for repair.
They are asking for the court to make Apple repair or replace the laptops. They also want the judge to award an unnamed amount in punitive damages and to pay for their legal fees.
All year long, there’s been grumbling from people who bought 2011 15-inch or 17-inch MacBook Pro models and say they have had problems with the graphics cards.
A Change.org petition from back in January asking Apple to address the issue hit over 20,000 signatures last week. Talk has ramped up in a Facebook group of over 5,000 members in the past few weeks, too, and on Reddit, and Apple support forums.
The lawyers allege that the problem is due to lead-free soldering materials used with the graphics card. This kind of soldering material tends to crack and the crack grows bigger over time, so problems get worse over time, the lawyers say.
Complaints about the graphics cards in these machines began shortly after the 2011 MacBooks went on sale. Apple responded quickly with a software update that it said it would, among other things, “improve graphics stability.”
But users say that this update didn’t fix the problems. The screens would tint blue tint or showing lines or kept freezing, they said.
In many instance, the problems showed up after the machine was out of warranty, when Apple will not cover the part. Some users have said that even if they get the part replaced, often with a price tag of $US300-$US500, the problems just come back, because, the lawyers allege, that replacement part is equally defective and simply cracks again.
Others have complained that Apple wouldn’t cover the repair even when they have bought the extended warranty, Apple Care.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update when we hear back.