Apple’s Macs are quite literally hiding a dirty secret, lawsuit alleges

Apple has been targeted by a lawsuit alleging that the company has been selling computers without dust filters.

The lawsuit claims that Apple is flogging computers and laptops without dust filters, which causes damage to the internals and screens of the machines. It’s been brought about by law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, an outfit that has been pretty successful in the past at clawing cash out of the tech monolith.

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The firm sued Apple and several book publishers over the price of eBooks on Apple’s iBooks store back in 2012, snagging $450 million three years later.

However, this could be an altogether more bitter pill to swallow. The problem with a lack of dust filters is that computers are constantly dragging air in from the surrounding area to keep the components cool, especially when the devices in question are sealed units. Pull in a lot of air without a dust filter and you… well, that’s how you get dust in your machine. Lots of dust. That’s a bad time.

Apparently, this oversight could affect iMacs and MacBooks that have been sold since 2013, although the issue doesn’t seem to have affected all machines.

The Register has managed to dig up the actual court documents, which contain this interesting snippet: “The Filter Defect is particularly troubling because Apple promotes itself as making technology products that set the standard in the industry. Apple advertises its products as having undergone ‘rigorous testing methods that simulated customers’ experiences with their devices’.

“It promises that, ‘[o]n a Mac, everything is designed to work just the way you expect it to’, and that the Retina display screens in particular are the ‘most advanced, most brilliant desktop display[s] we’ve ever built’. These representations are false and misleading, for the reasons detailed below”.

On the law firm’s website, there’s more information: “iMac and MacBook owners have reported dark smudges and spots on the interior of the screens of their desktop computers as well as excessive slowness and break downs of their computers related to the lack of filter on Apple computers.

“The computer intakes air to cool its components, but with no filter, dust gets trapped inside. This affects the screen and logic board of the computer, leading to dust stuck behind the screen and gummed up motherboards, causing the computer to run slow and/or overheat.”

Affected customers that take these devices back to Apple for a fix are allegedly being pushed towards “more than $500 to fix this screen defect, and more if they want to replace parts integral to the computer’s speed and performance”.

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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro says it is aiming to help users of the “premium, high end computers” to get replacements, in addition to recovering costs for losses.

If you’ve been affected, or you think you might have been affected, the law firm is looking for more people to join in with its class action suit.

Do you have a 2013 vintage Apple computer, like this writer? Have you suffered from screen smudging or any internal defects? Why not reach out on Twitter at @TrustedReviews?