fbpx

Apple iPhones Poor Warranty Coverage for Water Damage Class Action

Apple, Inc. makes its iPhones with a certain amount of resistance to water. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the water protection is insufficient and that owners often find that splash or immersion incidents do not qualify for coverage because of small-print disclaimers.

The class for this action is all those who live in New York who bought the products during the applicable statute of limitations.

According to the complaint, Apple has lagged other companies in providing water protection or resistance for its phones.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has developed standards for the “ingress protection” (IP) of devices. Manufacturers can use these standards to certify their devices to a specific standard, for example “IP68.” In this example, the first digit (6) indicates dust protection and the second (8) water protection.

The complaint alleges, “Since the introduction of the iPhone 7 in 2016, [Apple] has marketed its devices as offering no less than ‘IP67’ protection.” The iPhone 8’s IP67 rating means it can resist water at a depth of one meter for up to thirty minutes. Later models have even greater water resistance, with iPhone 12 models having an IP68 rating under IEC standard 60529, which should permit water resistance up to a depth of six meters for up to thirty minutes.

According to the complaint, “[Apple’s] marketing and advertising emphasize the water-resistance and impermeability of the devices to water by showing them being splashed, immersed in water and/or hit with powerful jets of water.” Yet the complaint suggests that this is not entirely straightforward, because of fine-print disclaimers.

“First,” it says, “the IP certification levels are based on highly controlled laboratory conditions, with static and pure water.” This is not the case in ordinary usage, which normally involves water that “contains various minerals, chemicals and other elements.” For example, iPhones that are splashed at a swimming pool or beach will not have coverage because the water at those places contains chlorine or salt.

Second, disclaimers for the one-year warranty exclude damage by liquids. The complaint quotes one as saying, “Splash, drop, and dust resistance are not a permanent feature and may decrease with normal wear. … The warranty does not cover damage proven by liquids.”

When a user asks for coverage, the complaint says, “the first step will verify if the liquid contact indicator (‘LCI’) has turned red, a sign that liquid has entered the device.” Furthermore, the complaint claims that in the event of a spill, users are told to rinse the affected area of the iPhone, yet Apple “will often use the rinsing of the device as a pretext to deny coverage…”

The complaint alleges that the technology exists to waterproof Apple iPhones, but that Apple won’t do it because it knows that if an iPhone is damaged, users will simply buy another.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Apple iPhones Poor Warranty Coverage for Water Damage Complaint

April 24, 2021

Apple, Inc. makes its iPhones with a certain amount of resistance to water. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the water protection is insufficient and that owners often find that splash or immersion incidents do not qualify for coverage because of small-print disclaimers.

Apple iPhones Poor Warranty Coverage for Water Damage Complaint

Case Event History

Apple iPhones Poor Warranty Coverage for Water Damage Complaint

April 24, 2021

Apple, Inc. makes its iPhones with a certain amount of resistance to water. But the complaint for this class action alleges that the water protection is insufficient and that owners often find that splash or immersion incidents do not qualify for coverage because of small-print disclaimers.

Apple iPhones Poor Warranty Coverage for Water Damage Complaint
Tags: Smartphone, Warranty, Water Damage, Water Ingress