June 23 (UPI) -- Apple has started a free keyboard service program to fix flawed MacBook and MacBook Pro computers.
Apple acknowledged a keyboard flaw in what it said was a small percentage of its MacBook and MacBook Pro models in its free keyboard service program announcement Friday. This may include letters or characters repeating unexpectedly, letters or characters not appearing or keys getting stuck.
The online Apple discussion thread shows some users have reported an issue with the "butterfly" keyboard design since last year, with complaints mounting in recent months. Users reported some of the keys get stuck when dust is lodged underneath the keyboard.
Apple offered the repair service free of charge through authorized Apple providers.
The announcement that the "butterfly" keyboards would be repaired follows a federal class-action lawsuit filed against MacBook or Macbook Pro for the defect last month in Northern California.
The 44-page suit accuses Apple of failing to notify customers about the "threat of non-responsive keys and accompanying keyboard failure."
Computers eligible for the free repair program include some MacBook Retina 12-inch models from early 2015 and early 2016, as well as 2017. Some MacBook Pros from 2016 and 2017 are also eligible. Apple said customers who already paid for eligible keyboards repair can contact them about a refund.
Repairs may include fixing the whole keyboard or just one or more keys.
The butterfly-style flaws in the 12-inch 2015 MacBook, which carried over in the 2016 MacBook Pro redesign, gained attention after a first-person piece about the flaws was published in The Outline late last year. The Outline report noted less dirt gets under the newer, thinner "butterfly switches," compared to older "scissor-switch keys" or even older "thick plastic keys" -- but with the newer keys, "when dirt does get in, it cannot get out."
Earlier this year, Apple offered a free battery replacement on certain MacBook Pro laptop models following problems that caused some batteries in October 2016 and October 2017 models to expand.