Apple Inc. was hit with a new class action lawsuit Friday accusing it of failing to honor its warranties for iPhone and iPod Touch devices whose indicators suggested liquid damage, even though the indicators are faulty and can be triggered by humidity and temperature changes. The complaint comes just weeks after it was reported that Apple entered a $53 million class action settlement agreement to resolve similar claims raised in several state and federal lawsuits.
The new class action lawsuit, filed May 24 by California plaintiffs Sean Pennington and Meghan White, says Apple knowingly used an inferior liquid-detection tape on its iPhone and iPod Touch devices, which falsely indicates water damage even when there was none, in order to justify denying warranty coverage and charging for repairs. The plaintiffs say Apple conducts no investigation to ascertain the actual cause of the malfunction or to confirm that the device has been submerged or had liquid spilled on it.
“Rather, Apple takes advantage of this opportunity to sell customers new or refurbished [iPhones or iPod Touches],” the class action lawsuit states.
Apple reportedly signed a $53 million class action settlement agreement last month to resolve similar claims raised in a consolidated class action lawsuit. Consumers covered by the previous settlement include anyone who tried to repair or replace their iPhone on or before December 31, 2009, or tried to repair or replace their iPod Touch device on or before June 30, 2010, and were denied based on Apple’s former Liquid Damage Policy.
The new Apple warranty class action lawsuit is seeking to represent anyone who bought an iPhone before January 1, 2010, or an iPod Touch before July 1, 2010, covered by a one-year warranty or two-year AppleCare Protection Plan. It also includes iPhone and iPod Touch owners who were denied repair or replacement of their device on the basis of Apple’s liquid damage policy.
The new plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief, monetary damages, restitution and more for six claims, including breach of warranty, unjust enrichment and unfair competition.
The new Apple iPhone/iPod Warranty Class Action Lawsuit case is Sean Pennington et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 13-cv-02375, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.
UPDATE 1: A federal Court granted final approval to the Apple iPhone/iPod warranty class action settlement on May 8, 2014. The Settlement Administrator announced in August that it will begin distribution of the settlement money in the next couple weeks. If you get a check, let us know!
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