iPhone 'Error 53' plaintiffs say Apple not giving reimbursements

Filing challenges the attempt to throw out class action suit

A class of iPhone owners say that Apple has not lived up to its promise to reimburse customers for bricked handsets.

A filing [PDF] in the California Northern District Court seeks to move forward with a class action case against the Cupertino iPhone maker on behalf of customers whose phones were locked when a February firmware update rendered some handsets inoperable.

The error was eventually traced back to the use of third-party screen replacements and Apple issued a fix to address the issue, but not before a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of customers.

Earlier this month, Apple moved to dismiss [PDF] the case, claiming that by issuing an update to remedy the issue and offering to reimburse customers for the hardware repairs, it was no longer liable for the suit.

"Apple has already corrected Error 53 for everyone (including Plaintiffs) by releasing a software 'fix' that allows affected devices to be restored and by reimbursing consumers who paid for 'out-of-warranty' repairs or purchased new devices (from Apple or otherwise) because of Error 53," Apple says.

"Under the circumstances, there is nothing left to litigate and the claims in the [complaint] are all moot."

The plaintiffs, meanwhile, say that Apple has not lived up to its claims of offering reimbursement, and they are now lobbying a challenge to the company's motion to dismiss the case.

In their objection, attorneys for the aggrieved iPhone owners say that Apple has not specifically notified any iPhone owners, and has merely posted a web page with information on claiming a reimbursement.

"Specifically, Apple's website stated: 'If you believe that you paid for an out-of-warranty device replacement based on an error 53 issue, contact Apple support to ask about reimbursement'," they argue.

"Other than this vague reference to request reimbursement from Apple, its website is devoid of any details about the purported reimbursement program."

The next hearing date in the case is scheduled for June 16th. ®

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