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Monday, January 05, 2009, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple sued over defective iMac displays

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit claiming the company’s iMac displays start to show unwanted vertical lines, which Apple is refusing to fix under warranty.

Florida resident Aram Hovsepian filed the 13-page complaint in a Northern California court last week on behalf of himself and "thousands" of other customers who purchased iMacs with the "latent defect."

According to the suit, faulty transistors and/or connections are causing the vertical lines to appear.  Hovsepian alleges Apple is aware of the problem and thus is committing consumer fraud through its negligence in addressing the issue.

“Apple failed to warn consumers about the common design and manufacturing defects with iMac display screens,” the complaint says.  “Instead Apple remained silent knowing its iMac display screens would malfunction while consumers purchased iMacs, made warranty claims arising from the vertical lines on the display screens, and made out of warranty repairs related to the vertical line problem.”

Attorneys for Hovsepian are seeking compensatory damages in the form of reimbursement plus interest for the faulty hardware, along with attorneys’ fees and expenses. 

The complaint further alleges that the one-year display warranties are “invalid and not enforceable."



“Apple has wrongfully denied warranty claims as untimely or based on other grounds despite the root cause of the vertical lines being a manufacturing and/or design defect,” the complaint says.



The lawsuit does not specify the iMac model(s) alleged to have the display defect, but implies that the issue plagues models sold in both 2006 and 2008.  The last major overhaul of Apple’s iMac line came in mid-2007, with the now-familiar aluminum body and black-rimmed display design.