After 3 class action lawsuits and an online petition Apple has finally admitted that there is a problem with the current keyboard design on the MacBook and MacBook Pro and is offering free repairs to customers who have been affected.
When Apple introduced the ‘butterfly’ mechanism keyboard with the MacBook in 2015, and the MacBook Pro in 2016, Many users have since reported problems with keys repeating characters and other keys not working.
According to Mac users, dust and small particles can get stuck under keys or the spacebar, making them unresponsive. Because the ‘butterfly’ mechanism distributes the pressure on a key more evenly than the traditional ‘scissor’ mechanism, if a spec of dust gets underneath a key it can stop the key from depressing all the way and that can stop the key from registering.
It is not possible to take individual keys out to clean the butterfly’ mechanism keyboard as was the case with older models. And according to reports, it’s not just the keyboard that must be removed but also the battery, frame and ports, a repair that can only be performed by an Apple service professional.
Apple’s webpage indicates the following faulty behaviors:
- Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
- Letters or characters do not appear
- Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner
In a statement provided to 9to5Mac, Apple claimed that the issue affects only a “small percentage of keyboards in certain MacBook and MacBook Pro models”.
Some users have already paid large sums of money for a keyboard replacement. Prior reports indicated that the repair could run to $700 (£521) or more, if the warranty had expired.
Fortunately for those Mac users who have already paid for repairs, Apple has said it will reimburse them and provides a link to a page with details for contacting the company to arrange a refund.
Macs affected by the butterfly keyboard defect include:
- MacBook (Retina, 12- inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook (Retina, 12 -inch, Early 2016)
- MacBook (Retina, 12- inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (13 -inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13- inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13- inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13- inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15- inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (15- inch, 2017)
You can check if your Mac is included on Apple’s webpage about the Keyboard Service Program for MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Apple indicates that those with keyboard problems should contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider, make an appointment at an Apple Retail Store, or send their Mac to an Apple Repair Centre.
Apple adds a disclaimer that “If your MacBook or MacBook Pro has any damage which impairs the service, that issue will need to be repaired first. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”