I am wondering about a situation that used to happen with the 2011 series of MacBook Pros.
At one time, they all started to fail, one after the other. The root of the problem was identified and well documented. Ultimately, it was a design flaw.
Apple followed their standard playbook:
- Claim that only a small number of machines have been affected.
- Once there is pressure from lawsuits, do a fix, without admitting any mistakes.
- Claim they're running a quality program to the benefits of customers.
The issue here is that the 2011 models started to fail outside of the warranty period, but the number of failures was so large that there were several lawsuits and this pushed apple to fix all broken machines.
Now the fix involved replacing a broken part with another identical one, with the same flaw and a known limited lifespan.
According to the discussions I had with the customer service, this is considered a repair in their eyes. I disagree.
Their point was that they extend, through replacements, the lifetime of the computer until it is 'vintage'. Vintage seems to be 5 years for them.
My point was that since we have machines made in the 80s that are still running, 5 years is not acceptable as a lifespan. Even if a machine is made obsolete, it should have a significantly longer lifespan. And I argued that swapping a part with another one that both parties know will fail is not a repair.
I made the argument that if a part is known to have catastrophic failure on an airplane, we don't replace that part with the same model, but with a fixed design. At that stage they wouldn't comment anymore.
A current situation is very similar with the Boeing 737 where it was found that, on some planes, a critical component started to fail at 1/3 of its expected lifespan. My assumption is that the component will not be replaced with one that has the same flaw.
The short version of my question is "who is right?" :)
But the real question is:
What is the accepted expectation of 'repair', according to the law?
- put a product back in service, regardless of what may happen later? This would probably be the literal meaning of the word, or
- perform work on a product so that the part repaired will perform for its expected lifespan?