Apple is facing growing pushback from MacBook Pro customers upset about alleged defects in the laptop's keyboard, with the filing of a proposed class-action lawsuit and an online petition seeking a recall of the device.
Apple introduced a redesigned MacBook Pro in late 2016 featuring a "butterfly" keyboard mechanism, which aims to provide "more responsive and comfortable typing," Apple said at the time.
However, the keyboard is "defective" and "prone to fail," according to a lawsuit filed by the firm Girard Gibbs on behalf of two MacBook Pro owners in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. The firm is seeking to achieve class-action status for the suit, which also covers Apple's MacBook.
"When the MacBook's butterfly keyboard fails, the keys stick and no longer register keystrokes," the lawsuit reads. "Apple's butterfly keyboard and MacBook are produced and assembled in such a way that when minimal amounts of dust or debris accumulate under or around a key, keystrokes fail to register."
Apple, Cupertino, Calif., did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, a petition on Change.org that's seeking a recall of the post-2016 MacBook Pro is now up to more than 25,000 signatures.
"These keyboards don't work," the petition reads. "Every one of Apple's current-gen MacBook Pro models, 13-inch and 15-inch, is sold with a keyboard that can become defective at any moment due to a design failure."
The petition cites findings from a number of writers who have reported about their woes with the MacBook Pro keyboard—including John Gruber of well-known Apple blog Daring Fireball. "This keyboard has to be one of the biggest design screwups in Apple history," Gruber wrote. "Everyone who buys a MacBook depends upon the keyboard and this keyboard is undependable."
Michael Oh, CTO of Cambridge, Mass.-based solution provider TSP, previously told CRN that he's begun seeing a rise in hardware issues of late with Mac computers.
"Is there a culture of taking the eye off of the ball when it comes to quality? And does that eventually end up affecting their market share? It's an open question," Oh said. In April, Apple initiated a recall for certain 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops because the batteries are prone to expanding.
Nonetheless, the redesigned MacBook Pro has helped to spur a resurgence in Apple's Mac business since its release, with the Mac having its "best year ever" in fiscal 2017 with $25.85 billion in revenue, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in November.