Apple has been slapped with a $9 million AUD ($6.6 million USD) fine by the Australian Federal Court for refusing to fix certain iPhones and iPads that were previously fixed using third party parts.
Multiple users reported iPhones and iPads were bricked when an iOS update gave them the dreaded and now notorious “Error 53” issue. These iPhones and iPads went through repairs and had some parts switched out for non-Apple sanctioned third-party parts, which prompted the issues. Apple refused to fix these devices and let customers know they weren’t eligible for repairs because of the third-party parts. However, that’s against the law as customers are still entitled for repairs from the manufacturer even with third-party parts.
“If a product is faulty, customers are legally entitled to a repair or a replacement under Australian Consumer Law, and sometimes even a refund, ” stated Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Commissioner Sarah Court. “Apple’s representation led customers to believe they’d be denied a remedy for their faulty device because they used a third party repairer.”
Apple has since admitted to misrepresenting at least 275 customers telling them that they were not eligible for repairs for the Error 53 because their devices had been repaired with third-party parts from February 2015 to February 2016.
After the ACCC told Apple it was investigating the issue, Apple did a roundabout and began to reach out to upwards of 5,000 customers affected by the Error 53 issue to remedy the growing situation. But it was too little too late and Apple still ended up getting stuck with the 9 million AUD fine for its unlawful tactics.