Earlier this week, we reported on the ongoing sage of Apple’s 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros, which are outfitted with its second-generation butterfly keyboards. The butterfly key mechanism allowed Apple to design its thinnest MacBook Pros to date, but it has come at the expensive of a subpar typing experience for many users and increased key failures that require the entire keyboard to be replaced.
A new Change.org petition is calling on Apple to voluntarily recall all 2016 MacBook Pros. Petitioner Matthew Taylor says that recalling millions of MacBook Pros is probably a logistical nightmare and would be costly, but “it’s the right thing to do”.
Taylor goes on to detail his own issues with his MacBook Pro. “I’m writing this petition on a Late 2016 13″ MBP keyboard with a defective L key and a defective Shift Key. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t,” writes Taylor. “Oh boy, do I just ove proofreading my text to find missing Ls. Not. And, I meant ‘love.’ L key didn’t work there. Yes, I took this machine to a Genius Bar. They replaced the L key. The replacement L key failed. Then the Shift key failed.”
His experiences mirror those of thousands of other 2016+ MacBook Pro owners who have grown frustrated with the unreliability of their keyboards. The new keyboards can often be stymied by small pieces of dust which cause the keys to malfunction repeatedly. What’s more infuriating is that replacements that are carried out under warranty can often result in a “fixed” keyboard that fails once again for the same reasons.
AppleInsider’s report last week detailed that there were numerous cases of repaired 2016 MacBook Pros going back for a second or even third time for repairs. For those unlucky customers that own a MacBook Pro that is out of warranty, the repair cost is in excess of $700. That’s right, it costs $700+ because the whole top portion (which consists of the battery, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and Touch Bar — if equipped) of the MacBook Pro has to be replaced — even if only one key is malfunctioning.
Taylor laces his petition with commentary from some of the most prolific Apple enthusiasts in the business including Jason Snell, who said that it is a “Defective product that should be recalled”, John Gruber, who stated that “Everyone who buys a MacBook depends upon the keyboard and this keyboard is undependable”, and Marco Arment who added “Butterfly keyswitches are a design failure…. they are fatally unreliable”.
So far, over 4,500 people have signed the petition, although we doubt that it will get much of a response (if any) from Apple.