Apple to pay $53M in iPhone & iPod liquid sensor lawsuit settlement

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The resolution to a class-action lawsuit over the sensitivity of liquid damage sensors in iPhones and iPods will cost Apple $53 million, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Apple's agreed upon price in the class-action lawsuit was revealed by Bloomberg, which noted that consumers could be eligible for $300 depending on which iPhone or iPod model they owned. The terms of the settlement were detailed in court documents filed in San Francisco.

Members of the class-action complaint argued that the Liquid Submersion Indicators that have been included in various Apple products over the years are faulty, and could be triggered during normal use without actually being submerged in water. Apple's policy was to deny repairs to a broken device if the liquid indicator had been triggered.

Tuesday's report indicated that the settlement applies to customers whose warranty claims for iPhones were denied before Dec. 31, 2009, while iPod touches denied before June 2010 are also eligible for settlement funds.

The complaint dates back to April of 2010, and was first filed by San Francisco, Calif., resident Charlene Gallion. The plaintiff said she took her non-functional iPhone 3G into an Apple STore for service, and was told she was not eligible for free repair or replacement because a Liquid Submersion Indicator had been triggered.

Apple began relaxing its repair policy for iPods with triggered liquid sensors in early 2011. In some cases, if there are no external signs of corrosion, the hardware will be replaced.


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