21 Comments

Summary:

The performance of Apple’s iMac with a 27″ inch screen led to complaints of an “iLemon,” and now a class action suit from a man who says half his screen went dark.

imac-broken

An Idaho man who paid $2,259 for a 27″ iMac computer is suing Apple on behalf of others who purchased the computer, claiming half of its display went dark after 18 months.

In a complaint filed last week in San Jose, aspiring music teacher Corbin Rasmussen says he thought the iMac was expensive but, relying on Apple’s claims that is was “designed for a long productive life,” saved up to buy one to use as a home computer and media center,

Rasmussen claims that, after 50 percent of the screen went dim, the iMac became nearly useless for watching movies and made basic web browsing difficult. He complained to Apple, which told him a repair would cost more than $500 since the defect arose after the product’s one year warranty expired.

The complaint also states that Apple received hundreds of complaints about the display problem, and that it failed to address the alleged defect in 2011 when it put out a new version of the 27″ inch iMac with an updated processor and graphics card. It also cites reports from the website Tech Crunch describing the computer as “iLemon.”

The lawsuit says the case is worth more than $5 million, and seeks to represent everyone in America who bought a 27″ inch iMac with a LG-LED-backlit display before December, 2012.

The suit relies on California’s consumer protection laws to say Apple deceived Rasmussen and others, but the lawsuit may face an uphill battle. Another class action based on out-of-warranty claims — this one over a “wiggly” power button in the iPhone 4 — recently failed.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. You can read the claim for yourself here:

iMac class action.pdf

  1. And that is why I pay for AppleCare AND / OR use a credit card that extends the manufacturer’s warranty.

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  2. Kali...Kali...kali Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    I hope they get Apple for every penny of 5 mil if not more!! In this day and age, that screen should not have those issues after only 18 mos!!!

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    1. That depends how often it happened. No manufacturing is perfect, so if there were “hundreds” of complaints but it’s one in a thousand sold, that’s not huge. Also, who knows what happened to his computer. One good nearby lighting strike and that’s it.

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      1. I think you should do some research because you seem to know nothing about it.
        I live in England and I bought an iMac in 2009
        It then developed a fault with the screen.
        After a while they gave me a brand new one same fault.
        I lost count how many times they replaced the screen.
        If you visit faultysreens.com there are over thousand people with these faults,and that`s just in France and subscribed.
        I found over 300 in England.
        What about the Apple forums they are awash with this issue.
        Apple evan tried to shut the the site down in France but they couldn`t.
        Just try looking on YouTube then you will see the hard evidence.
        I will ask you this question where are Apple computer`s made,and I will give you a clue three countries in the far East?

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  3. Diego Alberto Fernández Martínez Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    This is a widespread problem due to a faulty connector in the LCD display. Check it out: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4041042?start=0&tstart=0

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    1. I have this exact problem with my 27″ (mid-2011) and I can confirm that the connector is exactly the problem with the dimming. I am pretty comfortable with pulling a computer apart and fixing it myself but it seems that the connector might need very tiny soldering to do it correctly. I can’t be without a working computer in the mean time so I wouldn’t mind buying a new LED display and just swapping it out; but I can’t find any one that sells them. Probably because Apple bought up all of these displays and the manufacturer (LG maybe?) has moved on to another design.

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  4. I have been buying Macs since 1984 and I agree that AppleCare is the most useful thing to get to avoid these kind of problems. I didn’t get the AppleCare for my 27″ iMac and I am very comfortable pulling computers apart and rebuilding them so that part isn’t a big problem for me. The problem I have is that Apple will not sell me the part (LED display) and I cannot find anyone that has any so I would have to resort to pulling apart the connector in the display; not the connector from the GPU, but the connector IN the display going to the bottom right LEDs and soldering it correctly. Fixing badly designed display internals that prematurely stop functioning on their own should not be a profit center for Apple.

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  5. Previous AppleCare employee here. This was actually a noted issue within apple’s internal knowledge base. This was frequently happening to iMacs that weren’t out of warranty or still under AppleCare. Thus, it was one of the key issues that made it an auto exception to push to higher ranks.

    Apple should have issued a recall, but they didn’t. Honestly, I think they should be civilly liable. Instead of seeking damages, the lawsuit should just force Apple to fix these issues for the next three years.

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  6. Eric Van Boven Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Buy Apple care that is why it exists. If problem after 3 years, fix it yourself, pay to get it fixed or buy a new computer (maybe this time not Apple). Reading that apple discussion forum was funny as someone commented that monitors are supposed to last longer than 2 years. Um, yes they should, but Apple warranty it for a year so that is all it has to last. Hence Apple Care.

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  7. It’s an incredibly well understood problem.

    This video says it all …….

    There is a 10 cent micro-plug which is – simply – defective. It’s literally that simple.

    (Indeed, it would be an easy repair EXCEPT ONLY THAT it’s simply very difficult to solder such a small plug.)

    It’s just that simple. Apple are screwed on this one. There is utterly no possible argument against it being a plain cock-up on LG’s part.

    It’s also totally absurd Apple didn’t just agree to fix them, since (WATCH THE VIDEO) the repair is so simple. In this case, unbelievably bad decision by Apple.

    That nice guy Kaos2K84 on the forum first figured-out the problem.

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  8. Diego A. Fernández Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    If you need more visually info of the exact part that is causing all of these issues you can find it here: https://discussions.apple.com/message/18729288#18729288

    As you see, that connector is defective and the only way to fix permanently is by soldering the cables directly to the LED circuitry board or by replacing the entire LCD display. The first option is difficult and the second one, expensive (Up to $700 for a new LCD). As some of you said, Apple should started a recall but they didn’t, the customers were on their own to get it fixed…

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  9. I had the same issue on my mid-2011 model. I just spent $600 to get it fixed. I’ll definitly be watching the net on this topic. And buying AppleCare is not the point. You should not have to. When it’s happening to hundreds of people it should be taken care of by Apple.

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  10. Duct tape
    it will not cost you a penny
    here is how we do things in Romania
    apply a small band of duct tape forcing the small plug in
    and cut the margins of the duct tape so it will not look bad on the outside
    anyway the duct tape will be inside the computer

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