Lawsuit over refurbished Apple service replacements heading to trial in August

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Five years after filing, a class action lawsuit accusing Apple of providing repair replacement devices that aren't "equivalent to new in reliability and performance" is set to go to trial in August.

The complaint was originally filed in 2016 and took issue with Apple replacing damaged devices with refurbished models. Although Apple says it provides replacement devices that are "equivalent to new in performance and reliability," the lawsuit alleges that "remanufactured," or refurbished, devices don't meet that definition.

The original plaintiff in the case allegedly received a replacement iPad that did not function properly. As such, the lawsuit claims that it was not "equivalent to new."

According to a notice sent by law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, first spotted by MacRumors, the case will proceed to trial on August 16, 2021.

The class covers U.S. customers who purchased an AppleCare or AppleCare+ plan for iPhone or iPad on or after July 20, 2012 and later received a "remanufactured" replacement device. Those who meet the description are automatically included in the class unless they opt out by May 3.

As AppleInsider reported at the time, the case will hinge on how the court defines "refurbished," or how it interprets the "equivalent to new in performance and reliability" clause in the AppleCare+ contract. The original filing also doesn't seem to consider wear and tear by the user prior to the repair, as it applies to what the user receives in exchange.

Per Apple repair program guidelines, parts that are replaced during repair at an authorized service location are required to be sent back to Apple for evaluation, repair, and a return to service stock. Once a damaged device claimed by Apple during a repair process is repaired, it too is sometimes repaired and sent back to the service replacement process or re-sold directly to consumers as a refurbished device.

Apple denies any wrongdoing in the case. The case is slated to be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. More details can be found at the lawsuit's website.