Class Action Lawsuit Targets ‘Flawed’ Apple Maps App
By Dominic Rivera
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple Inc. alleging that its Apple Maps app “is clearly defective,” yet Apple fails to honor its one-year warranties by forcing consumers to pay to repair or replace the defective application.
The Apple Maps class action lawsuit was filed on Nov. 15 by California plaintiff Nancy Romine Minkler, who is seeking to represent everyone in the United States who purchased an Apple iPhone, iPod touch and/or iPad mobile device which utilizes Apple’s iOS operating systems 6.0, 6.1.2, 7.0 or 7.0.3. These are the first operating systems Apple has used since it moved to away from Google Maps to its own mapping system, with data provided mostly by Dutch manufacturer or navigation systems TomTom.
In her class action lawsuit, Minkler cites several so-called admissions by Apple allegedly acknowledging that its mapping system is defective. “We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it,” Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman said after the release of Apple’s iOS 6 mobile operating system. “We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get.”
The class action lawsuit also cites the launch of Siri, the voice-activated virtual assistant, saying that it was criticized since it came out in 2011 for its outages and misunderstanding user commands. Several class action lawsuits have been filed against Apple alleging that it falsely advertised the capabilities of its Siri feature.
According to Minkler, despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s letter on Sept. 22, 2012, promising improvements to the Apple Maps app, media entities are still reporting a few weeks ago of an incident where Apple Maps allegedly directed users across an airport runway.
The Apple CEO, in his letter last September, actually admitted that they fell short with their commitment to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to their customers. He went on to apologize for the frustration that it has caused their customers and assured everyone that they are doing everything to make Apple Maps better.
Cook also encouraged iPhone users to download alternative apps. “While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app,” he said.
The class action lawsuit added that Apple has actual notice of the Apple Maps defects by virtue of the media coverage that its problems are getting. The lawsuit lists different causes of actions, ranging from breach of warranty for allegedly selling a phone not free from defects to unfair competition that violates a provision of the California Business and Professional Code.
Though most Apple fans are looking at this news as pure noise, the direction of where this proposed class action lawsuit would go remains to be seen.
The Apple Maps Class Action Lawsuit is Nancy Romine Minkler v. Apple Inc., Case No. 13-cv-05332, U.S. District Court, California Northern District Court, San Jose.
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