Apple sued over MacBook Pro 'Flexgate' — what you need to know

MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Stephen Lam/Getty Image)

Apple knew of a MacBook Pro flaw that caused blacklight display issues on certain laptop models, a class-action lawsuit filed against the Cupertino company on Wednesday claims. 

The lawsuit, reported on and shared by Apple Insider, cites the 'Flexgate' flaw that gadget repair website iFixit discovered on some MacBook Pro models early last year. A number of MacBook Pro laptops released in 2016 and 2017 suffered from fraying flexible display cables, resulting in display stage lighting, or inconsistent backlighting towards the bottom of the screen.

Regular opening and closing of those MacBook Pro models compromised the flex cables between the display and a controller found board beneath MacBook Pro's Touch Bar.

Apple never addressed iFixit's report directly. Instead, it quietly adjusted the length of the flex cables on its 2018 MacBook Pro, and launched a repair program for those with defective 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro models. (The program didn't cover 15-inch models with stage lighting issues, though.)

And since the flex cable defect often took time to exhibit, several impaired ‌‌MacBook Pro‌‌s fell outside of Apple's one-year warranty policy and in some cases resulted in a repair fee of over $700.

The lawsuit claims Apple knew of the durability issues with the connectivity cables, and didn't respond responsibly.

"Apple was aware of the issues with the backlight screen and the defective flex cable, in light of the comments posted by consumers on Apple's discussion forum and that those comments were deleted after they were posted," the action reads.

Multiple lawsuits targeting Flexgate have been filed. In this one, which appears more substantial that previous claims, plaintiffs seek damages and call on Apple to address its defective MacBook Pro models. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.