Following a petition with thousands of signatures related to GPU complaints, Apple has been named a defendant in a new class-action lawsuit filed against the Cupertino-based company in the United States District Court for Northern California over system failures and graphical issues affecting 2011 MacBook Pros.

The class-action lawsuit was filed by Kentucky-based law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason on behalf of plaintiffs Zachary Book, Donald Cowart, and John Manners, a trio of individuals that accuse Apple of failing to rectify the graphical issues that have affected both 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2011.

The lawsuit covers California and Florida residents that purchased an affected MacBook Pro model between approximately February 2011 and May 2012. According to court documents, the issue stems from a defective AMD GPU that did not function correctly because of lead-free soldering that caused short circuiting among other problems.

MacBook Pro models that were affected by this problem would often have visual banding or malfunctions on the screen, especially when users were performing highly intensive tasks like watching high-resolution videos or using multimedia programs like the Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro and similar software.

2011 MacBook Pro

Apple did offer a free video card replacement on some mid-2011 iMacs exhibiting similar symptoms, though the cards in the MacBook Pro are different, and recalls as a whole are rare. The most recent was in August, when Apple offered free battery replacements for some iPhone 5 models that were deemed to have defective batteries.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple has failed to reimburse customers that were forced to pay for out-of-warranty repairs that could cost between $350 to $600 to fix the GPU issues. The legal filing also accuses Apple of largely ignoring customers that have complained, even those that attempted to reach out directly to CEO Tim Cook.

Apple has yet to comment on this lawsuit and, given that it generally remains tight lipped on matters such as these, it might not ever provide any official word regarding the case. Nevertheless, we’ve reached out to Apple for comment and we will update this post if we hear anything back.

Whitfield Bryson & Mason is examining this issue further and there is a possibility that legal action could extend beyond the jurisdictions of California and Florida.

Any of our readers with a 2011 MacBook Pro affected by this GPU issue?

About the Author