Consumers who claimed that Apple uses refurbished parts to replace broken iPhones and iPads under AppleCare or AppleCare+ warranties have received Class certification from a California federal judge.
According to U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick, the Apple parts class action lawsuit should continue as Apple’s arguments for summary judgement were insufficient.
The judge said that in requesting a summary judgment, the tech giant misunderstood the customers’ arguments around why Apple should be held liable.
Additionally, Judge Orrick said that the customers had sufficiently supported their claim that Apple’s refurbished parts were indeed inferior to new ones, as they claimed, citing expert reports on the issue.
In requesting summary judgement, Apple had reportedly called into question these expert reports, calling them “unrealistic and unsupportable.”
Judge Orrick disagreed with this challenge to the customers’ argument, and crystalized his decision by saying “Apple can challenge plaintiffs’ evidence at trial, but material disputes of fact preclude summary judgement.”
Customers included in the certified Class are those who purchased Apple’s AppleCare or AppleCare+ extended warranty on or after July 20, 2012, and who received a remanufactured replacement device when using their warranty.
The Apple refurbished replacement parts class action lawsuit was filed by Vicky Maldonado and Justin Carter in 2016. They claimed that Apple used refurbished parts to repair iPhone and iPads under warranty, not new ones.
The customers claimed that upwards of 3 million individuals were injured by the use of refurbished parts. Allegedly, many customers would not have purchased the extended warranties had they known that the parts that would be used in repairs were refurbished instead of new. According to the customers, the refurbished parts do not perform as well as new parts, and are less reliable.
The customers in the refurbished phone parts class action lawsuit say that Apple charged customers an extra for their extended warranty plan. Allegedly, the company violated this warranty by using refurbished parts.
Judge Orrick also rejected Apple’s request to have large parts of the deposition testimony for the refurbished parts class action lawsuit permanently redacted, including those detailing what iPhone and iPad parts were allegedly used. This redacted information also includes how Apple tests its devices.
Judge Orrick did agree to redact some information for 10 days, but stated that he would ultimately file an un-redacted version, saying that “there are no compelling reasons to seal such information.”
Did you purchase AppleCare? What has been your experience with the warranty? Let us know!
The Apple customers are represented by Steve W. Berman, Robert B. Carey, and Michella A. Kras of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.
The Apple Refurbished Repair Parts Class Action Lawsuit is Maldonado, et al. v. Apple Inc., et al., Case No. 3:16-cv-04067, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
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