‘Apple Had Exclusive Knowledge’ Of 2016-17 MacBook Pro Display Defect, Judge Rules

Apple knowingly sold MacBook Pro notebooks that had faulty screens in 2016 and 2017. That’s according to a judge presiding over a lawsuit relating to flexgate.

Flexgate saw MacBook Pro screens display faulty backlights at the bottom of the display, caused by a faulty flex cable.

The cables connect the display to the main logic board and, after months of being opened and closed, those cables began to break. The result was a strange issue that saw the bottom of the screens appear unevenly lit.

That, according to U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, is something Apple must have been aware of during the design process.

From a Law360 report on the case:

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila determined that the consumers’ allegations of Apple conducting intensive pre-release testing, which the consumers say was conducted by a team of “reliability engineers” who carried out stress tests and other procedures that would have alerted Apple to defects behind the display failures, sufficiently demonstrate that Apple was aware of the alleged defect.

“The court finds that the allegations of pre-release testing in combination with the allegations of substantial customer complaints are sufficient to show that Apple had exclusive knowledge of the alleged defect,” the judge wrote in his opinion.

Apple subsequently fixed the issue and offered impacted users a free repair. But that wasn’t enough to stop the lawsuits from flying and that’s exactly what the judge was dealing with recently.

It remains to be seen how this particular lawsuit pans out, but it’s already looking pretty bad for Apple.

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