It targets MacBooks from 2015 or later and MacBook Pros from 2016 or later, all with the butterfly keyboard. It was brought by Girard Gibbs, a San Francisco-based law firm that has battled with Apple several times in the past, including filing a class-action suit centered on the iPod's "diminishing battery capacity".
"The keyboard features our second-generation butterfly mechanism - providing four times more key stability than a traditional scissor mechanism, along with greater comfort and responsiveness", the company wrote on its website.
The lawsuit. reported on by The Outline, further states that Apple "promoted and sold laptops it knew were defective in that they contain a keyboard that is substantially certain to fail prematurely", and this is the basis of its claim that Apple has continued to sell products it knew to be defective. The suit, filed in the Northern District Court of California, cites forum complaints going back to 2015, and substantially describes the difficulties of two named plaintiffs, one of whom experienced a failed keyboard after only one month.
Girard Gibbs LLP, which is representing the plaintiffs, wrote on its website: "Because typing is the primary goal of laptops, over time, consumers have become more and more frustrated with the keyboard defect". As of this writing, that statement is still on Apple's MacBook Pro site.
Non-Apple avenues of repair are practically nonexistent for this problem as well, as third-party or aftermarket repair shops have no access to the parts necessary to fix the issue. As Barbaro's MacBook Pro was at this point out of warranty, he was told it would cost more than $700 to fix.
Apple did not respond to the complaint, according to CNET. Apple had advertised these keyboards to be "refined for greater comfort and responsiveness". Apple has not directly acknowledged the problem. Apple also released support documents detailing a method of cleaning the keyboard with a can of compressed air, which users claimed to be quite ineffective. Under the lawsuit, Apple is expected to publicly accept the flaw, as complainants seek damages, legal costs and reimbursements of replacement keyboards and MacBooks from Apple. The cost of replacing an affected keyboard is in the $700 range, a ridiculous price, but an unavoidable one for Apple customers.