Skip to main content

Legal dust-up: MacBook owners are suing Apple over a lack of filters

Case Gallery/Apple Lawsuit/HansBerman

An affected MacBook screen from the lawsuit case gallery.Apple is under fire from a new class-action lawsuit. This one isn’t about keyboards, but it is about dust. Many MacBook Pro and iMac users are fed up with the dust that is built up in their systems, in some cases leading to smudges on screens and in others, severe overheating, making laptops and desktops run much slower than they should due to thermal throttling.

Apple is no stranger to legal action from its user base having faced down class actions for a variety of faults in its hardware over the years. The latest one claims Apple has been negligent in not providing adequate dust filtering for its products, leading to an excessive amount of dust collecting inside MacBooks and iMacs. This lead to problems which owners were forced to fix at their own expense and usually through Apple since the company does not like third-party repairs.

Plaintiffs, in this case, are being represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a class-action litigation firm based in Seattle. It released a statement via co-founder Steve Berman, which highlighted the issues in question and suggested that it intended to “hold Apple accountable for this costly defect affecting millions of its computers.”

The suit, initially reported on by Mac Rumors, is seeking compensation for Mac owners for the prices paid for their displays which did not perform as advertised and compensation for any repair costs they may have incurred while owning affected products. It is also seeking compensation for anyone who sold their Apple device at a lower cost than they might have otherwise been able to, had dust not been an issue.

The lawsuit highlights a lack of dust filters as the main reason for the dust buildup. It also suggests that Apple flippantly charges for entire screen replacements when removing the screen and cleaning it would suffice. It cites particular examples of professional individuals who paid hundreds, if not thousands, to repair Apple Mac devices affected by dust buildup.

Hagens Berman is looking to sign up more Apple customers affected by this issue, suggesting that anyone who owned or owns a 2013-2018 Apple iMac desktop or MacBook laptop may be deserving of compensation. If you fall into that category and wish to learn more, you can sign up to the lawsuit here.

Statista suggests that throughout that period, Apple sold tens of millions of those devices to consumers. If even a small fraction of that number sign up to the lawsuit and it proves successful, it could force Apple to make a gargantuan payout. Such a result would likely take some time to come to fruition, however.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
Here’s why people are raising concerns about the M3 Pro MacBook Pro
The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max chip seen from behind.

I published my review of the M3 Max MacBook Pro earlier this week, and suffice it to say, I was pretty impressed. I'm fond of the Space Black color, and the GPU performance in particular blew me away.

But one configuration of the new MacBook Pro went a bit more under the radar -- the M3 Pro model. Apple wasn't keen on sending this exact unit out to reviewers, instead leading with its much stronger foot, the M3 Max. And while the M3 Max and Pro were a bit closer in performance in the M2 generation, this time around, it seems as if there's more of a disparity.

Read more
A new iMac Pro could still launch. Here’s what I want from it
An Apple iMac Pro in a dark room flanked by two monitors, one on either side of it.

A week ago, a shocking report emerged: Apple apparently had no plans for a larger iMac, potentially meaning the iMac Pro was dead and buried. However, opposition voices soon emerged, and the consensus now seems to be that Apple has only ruled out the 27-inch iMac, not the idea of a larger all-in-one entirely.

In fact, just yesterday, Bloomberg Mark Gurman reiterated his previous claims that a larger iMac is still in the works. That’s an exciting rumor because I’ve felt for years that the iMac isn’t quite living up to its potential. If a larger, more powerful version really is still in development, it could be a seriously impressive device. Here’s everything I want to see from it.
More raw power

Read more
Here’s more proof that Apple is wrong about MacBook memory
The keyboard and trackpad of the MacBook Pro.

Apple has made some big claims about its unified memory over the past few years. That was made explicit this week when an Apple representative was asked why it has begun to sell an 8GB starting configuration of its new M3 Pro MacBook Pro, a laptop that's already been under scrutiny recently. The interviewee responded by saying that 8GB on a MacBook was equivalent to 16GB on a comparable system. But is that really true? It's been hard to test so far, but a recent video posted by Max Tech suggests that in practice, at least, it's not so simple.

M3 MacBook Pro 8GB vs 16GB RAM - How BAD is base model?

Read more