Blog Post

Apple hit with class action over faulty iMac screens

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

An Idaho man who paid $2,259 for a 27″ iMac computer is suing Apple(s aapl) 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

[protected-iframe id=”a6702efd3fbc8a0d0c0ffc86d575995f-14960843-34118173″ info=”//” width=”100%” height=”600″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”]

21 Responses to “Apple hit with class action over faulty iMac screens”

  1. A small piece of foam tape placed behind the bottom left hand corner of the LCD usually fixes the problem by putting pressure on the bad connector. This also is one of several other screen problems.

    There are also thousands of complaints about dust being sucked up into the LCD screen. Not between the glass and LCD, inside the LCD. They are not sealed well and the fans under the LCD push dust upward towards the to where heat is emitted. But sometimes dust gets inside of the LCD. This is happening on the 21.5″ and 27″ models.

  2. Russ Peterson

    They should just admit it was a screw up and fix it. Dow to a one year life on a computer costing $2000.00 or more, that’s ridiculous and bad for business. Apple makes billions, fix it!! for free!!

  3. My iMac 27′ have a problem too. I’ve bought it in 2012 september and he make green stripe when he boot. Sometime my screen duplicate and bug for fews days. Often the iMac didn’t even boot. Apple want that I pay 400 $ for a graphic card (Radeon who was logically refundable for free because theses cards in the year I’ve bought it have many problems).. So i’m on a kind of impass.. Sorry for my english.. ;)

  4. Dear Jeff John Roberts,

    Do you know how I can add my support to this person’s Class-Action lawsuit? I bought a 2009 27″ imac @ launch and have been dealing with this issue since 2011 (after my apple care ended).

  5. I live in England and I bought an iMac in 2009. It later developed a faulty screen. It was sent away and the screen was replaced several times,and I was given about 3 new iMacs. this was making my nerves bad,and I was appointed an Advocate. It took her 7 months to get a full refund of £1213.
    I was going to buy the Mac Mini,but that had a fault has well. I was contacted by and he gave me the full list of faulty iMacs in France.
    It was just like that film The Insider. I was warned off for telling a store it was selling faulty Mac Mini`s,and I replied I have got all the evidence I want if you take it further. Their was no further reply.
    I am typing this out on a 2007 Mac Mini. Apple is rotten to the core,and they seem to get away with all these faults,commented above they should have been a recall for all the iMac`s.
    Don`t mention AppleCare it`s a waste of money depending which country you live in. My case is still ongoing,but Apple has got the money I havn`t ?

  6. Lucian Ilea

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Diego A. Fernández

    If you need more visually info of the exact part that is causing all of these issues you can find it here:

    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…

  9. 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.

  10. Eric Van Boven

    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.

  11. CPUadmin

    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.

  12. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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 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?