Apple’s heavily criticized butterfly keyboards may end up in the dustbin of history forever, but the company is still paying the price for years of defective keys. Reuters reports that Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit over the much-maligned butterfly keyboards, with individual payments of up to $395 to people who owned one.
The settlement concerns MacBook, MacBook Air and most MacBook Pro models purchased between 2015 and 2019 in seven US states: California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington. Lawyers say they expect a maximum payout of $395 for people who replaced multiple keyboards, $125 for people who replaced one keyboard, and $50 for people who replaced keycaps.
Apple started replacing the butterfly keyboard with the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 after years of tweaks and updates to the mechanism and user complaints about stuck, unresponsive, and broken keys. In 2018, Apple launched the Keyboard Service Program for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro to offer free replacement keyboards.
However, that did not go far enough, according to the lawsuit. The complainants alleged that Apple “knew and concealed” that the keyboards were prone to malfunction.
For its part, Apple did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. It previously said that the butterfly keyboard issues represented “a small percentage” of users.
Details on payouts, eligibility and submission will be provided at a later date.