Apple, Inc. is facing another proposed class action lawsuit over an alleged defect in its Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple watches. The case, filed in New Jersey federal court, claims the products’ lithium-ion batteries tend to swell, causing the screens on the watches to crack, shatter, or detach.
The lawsuit, which echoes claims of an earlier suit filed in California by the same firm, alleges that the watches often break “through no fault of the wearer” just days or weeks after they are first purchased. Moreover, the suit says the defective watches present a safety hazard, as many customers have reported suffering cuts or burns when the screens on their watches shattered or detached.
According to the lawsuit, Apple has known of the alleged defect for years yet has “persistently denied any widespread issue,” even though it acknowledged a "swelling battery defect" in certain first generation watches and subsequently extended some limited warranties from one to three years.
When consumers attempt to have their watches fixed under warranty, Apple, the case says, consistently denies the existence of the defect, writes off the issue as the result of “accidental damage” caused by the wearer, and refuses to honor its warranty.
The previous lawsuit filed over the alleged issue was dismissed in January 2019 due to being “vague.”
“Plaintiff’s description of the alleged defect identifies only the consequences of the alleged defect (i.e., cracking, shattering, or detaching), but is notably silent on identifying the defect that causes such consequences,” the judge wrote in an order issued January 25, 2019.
The new case addresses this issue by attempting to pinpoint the cause of the defect:
“Upon information and belief, the Defect is caused by aging or otherwise faulty li-on batteries, or by defective internal components of the Watches that regulate temperature, electrical currents, charging, and other mechanisms that could affect the Watches’ li-on batteries.”