Apple settles lawsuit, reimburses consumers with faulty power adapter


Rebeca Rodriguez

Kylee Pendery, advertising sophmore, works on her MacBook at the Communications building on Thursday afternoon. Apple Inc. reached a settlement that will reimburse buyers of faulty MagSafe power adapters sold between 2006 and 2009.

David Maly

MacBook users with faulty power adapters will be refunded at full cost by Apple Inc. after the company settled a lawsuit out of court.

Apple’s reimbursement is a result of the settlement reached with plaintiffs after the alleged faulty manufacturing of the MagSafe power adapters, according to a third-party website created under the terms of the settlement. The final hearing of the settlement will take place Feb. 27. The 2009 class-action lawsuit filed against Apple Inc. applies to MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop power adapters sold between 2006 and 2009. 

These defects allegedly caused the adapters to strain, fray, spark, overheat, melt or otherwise prematurely fail, according to a press release by the law firm representing the plaintiffs. Currently Apple Inc. is only replacing adapters showing signs of “strain relief damage,” and they have since discontinued the defective model. Users who have replaced their defective power adapter will be reimbursed for the cost of the new unit.

Muhammad Imran, owner of Sam Computers on Guadalupe and 25th streets, said he has had experience with the faulty cords at his shop.

“[The plugs] always go bad and they just buy a new adapter from us. I see different students come in for new adapters a few times a week, and this isn’t the first Apple defect that I’ve observed,” Imran said. “Apple is huge though, and this isn’t going to stop the Mac craze.”

Christy Krames, UT alumna and Mac owner, said she is surprised that Apple did not correct this issue until it was brought to them in court. 

“It seems like a company like Apple would automatically make it right, but it is a major corporation,” Krames said. “I’m not surprised they would go for their bottom line. That’s where their loyalty is.” 

The nationwide group of plaintiffs include Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro users who own the 60 watt or 85 watt MagSafe MPM-1 (“T”) model power adapter. Plaintiffs have until March 21, 2012 to file with the class-action lawsuit to be reimbursed for the replacement units.

Craig Briskin and other attorneys at Mehri & Skalet who are working for the plaintiffs, said the result is in the best interest of the consumer.

“The cords are still out there and in use,” Briskin said. “So we think it’s a very good result for a class-action settlement, and I am especially pleased that we were able to accomplish this in such a relatively short amount of time.”

Representatives at Apple, Inc. did not return requests for comment.

Briskin said Apple’s evasive response to the lawsuit was only to delay reparations for a problem they already knew existed.

“Their position was that this happened in only a small number of cases,” Briskin said. “However, they did have on their web page that this was an issue. So far, more than 20,000 of the cords have been returned in the U.S. alone.”

Printed on Friday, February 3, 2012 as: Apple faces lawsuit, reimburses