Lawfirm Ready to File iPhone Error 53 Lawsuit

| News

The Error 53 issue bricking iPhones that get replacement Touch ID sensors has the Internet up in arms, and that can mean only one thing: it's lawsuit time. The law firm of PVCA hasn't filed a case against Apple yet, but is looking for iPhone owners ready to sign up for a class action lawsuit.

Apple facing potential lawsuit over Error 53Apple facing potential lawsuit over Error 53

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who get new Home buttons with Touch ID support are encountering Error 53 if the parts aren't properly installed and paired with the rest of the device. Apple says it's a security feature to prevent anyone from bypassing the built-in personal data and privacy safeguards. That's not, however, how PVCA see it. The law firm's website says,

Think of it this way: Let’s say you bought a car, and had your alternator replaced by a local mechanic. Under Apple’s strategy, your car would no longer start because you didn’t bring it to an official dealership. They intentionally disable your car because you tried to fix it yourself.

Applying PVCA's alternator analogy to Apple's argument, if a local mechanic fails to correctly install a new alternator, your car will stop working. That's not an intentional act by the car maker; it's what happens when key parts aren't installed properly.

The tools necessary for pairing the Touch ID sensor with an iPhone aren't available to independent repair shops, and that's where the real problem lies. Unless they have access to the same tools as Apple's authorized repair centers, they can't successfully replace Touch ID-enabled Home buttons, or even the cable that connects the Touch ID sensor to your iPhone.

The issue extends beyond after market parts to components swapped from other iPhones, too. iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens said in a blog post, "Error 53 isn’t necessarily a problem of third-party parts. It can happen with new OEM parts out of a different iPhone. It’s a matter of synchronization—not third-party parts."

PVCA says Error 53 violates U.S. consumer protection laws, and now it's looking for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who encountered the phone-killing issue. It's a safe bet the law firm will find the people it needs to move forward and file a case, and it's a safe bet Apple is already working on its legal defense.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]

The Mac Observer Spin The Mac Observer Spin is how we show you what our authors think about a news story at quick glance. Read More →

Right or wrong, the lawsuits over Error 53 were bound to happen. Welcome to the United States where starting lawsuits is as easy as buying a new pair of shoes.

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Comments

geoduck

Yup, bound to happen. The sad part is that even if the firm wins against Apple, they will take most of the payout while the actual plaintiffs get a $5 iTunes gift card.

I rank them thus
Hyenas
Mosquitos
Maggots
Class Action Lawyers

With Lawyers being the most rank

Scrannel

Apple can heave around all the techno-jargon they want, but that means nothing.  In the US you cannot force customers to only use a manufacturer’s service.  It’s against long-standing anti-trust laws that have been in place since the late 1800s.  Back then the US was a very large and very disconnected country.  So if you had a Model T in the middle of nowhere you were not forced to drive a thousand miles for Ford service.  Apple has been in court in the US in the past for this sort of Restraint of Trade.  Also the way they are handling this suggests this is more about greed than security concerns.  If you violate the security credentials of an OS 10 Blackberry, it will brick.  However, you do have the option of returning the phone to the company, with proof of purchase, and they will unbrick the phone.  Apple, with its many store fronts, could just as easily provide the same service. 

And Mac Observer’s “spin” is exactly the sort of prosaic response Apple hopes for.  Here’s my spin: Apple is illegally destroying expensive phones purchased in good faith by loyal customers.  With no recourse.

d'monder

There are makes of vehicles where replacing a battery or alternator yourself WILL “brick” it.  Have also seen cases where not using dealer- supplied oil will void the warranty.

Sad….

aardman

It’s fun to shit on class action lawyers, because a lot of them, or at least the ones we hear about, really abuse the system.  But the air we breathe and the water we drink would be a lot dirtier today without class action lawsuits.  The alternative would be a bigger, more robust enforcement apparatus but then you get people screaming that size of government is becoming truly excessive and the bureaucrats at the EPA are abusing their power. 

The system might need to be tinkered with to make it less subject to abuse, or maybe we need to make a judgement as to whether there is enough good to make the bad worth enduring.  Less pollution versus less nuisance lawsuits on companies richer than most nations on earth.  Where would you put the fulcrum on that balance?

Scrannel

“Have also seen cases where not using dealer- supplied oil will void the warranty. ”
——————————-

Not sure what country you are in, but in fact that used to be a ploy here in the US to try to get around the Anti-Trust laws.  No longer.  Hate lawyers if you want, but in the end they are usually the only ones who can force companies to obey the law.

Lee Dronick

Apple, with its many store fronts, could just as easily provide the same service

Or the user could have first taken their broken device to an Apple Store to get it fixed.

Scrannel

“Or the user could have first taken their broken device to an Apple Store to get it fixed.”
—————————————————————-
Sure… if there was one.  There are plenty of places in the world where there are no Apple Stores.  That’s how this whole things blew up: a reporter operating out of Macedonia needed to get his phone fixed and there were only 3rd party shops.

jhorvatic

No Apple does not intentionally brick anything. The service center doesn’t have the proper machine to calibrate and make it work. Apple doesn’t authorize any 3rd party to repair there phones and that’s why you end up with error 53. Apple licenses Apple Authorized service centers for 3rd party repairs but does not allow for iPhone repairs because they don’t have the proper equipment to make it work.

Lee Dronick

Question about this situation. If the Touch ID wasn’t working then does the numeric passcode still unlock the phone?

Scrannel

“No Apple does not intentionally brick anything. The service center doesn’t have the proper machine to calibrate and make it work. Apple doesn’t authorize any 3rd party to repair there phones and that’s why you end up with error 53. Apple licenses Apple Authorized service centers for 3rd party repairs but does not allow for iPhone repairs because they don’t have the proper equipment to make it work.”
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So… they’re accidentally bricking customer’s phones?  Please, they know exactly what they are doing.  The point is, in the US, the law REQUIRES Apple to allow 3rd party shops to fix their phones.  Period.  Sure, it’s then up to the consumer to make the choice.  If a repair is badly done at a 3rd Party shop, the consumer has to try to be compensated by that shop.  HOWEVER… what Apple is doing is 100% preventing any non-Apple shop from being able to fix their phone.  In the US, that is illegal.

Scrannel

“Question about this situation. If the Touch ID wasn’t working then does the numeric passcode still unlock the phone?”
—————————————————————————————————————
Yes.

Lee Dronick

  The tools necessary for pairing the Touch ID sensor with an iPhone aren’t available to independent repair shops

Will they be able to get them?

ctopher

Yes of course Apple want’s to make it very difficult to repair their products. Apple makes most of it’s billions on repair, didn’t you know that?

Of course I’m kidding. I’d rather have a secure iPhone than a weak point in the touch ID system. It it well known that iPhones are difficult to fix. Apple prioritizes form over repairability (that and cost I’m sure!) So if you want a repairable phone, look elsewhere.

Scrannel

In the US (not sure about the EU) the case is not that Apple is pooching phones, but that they are trying to force customers to use only their repair services (by pooching phones).  This is called “Creating a Monopoly.”  Right, nothing to do with security (though Apple will argue this).  It would be different, of course, if Apple made it known that you MUST send it back to them for this one, security repair.  But that would mean sharing revenue with 3rd party shops.

Lee Dronick

I just woke up a nap, are these still opening arguments or are we now into the closing?

CudaBoy

Ahh, yes, yet more bad Apple hardware/software. The list grows… You’d think the #1 smartphone company would have it down by now but noooo, they just make Samsung look better. Apple is notorious for lying about what can and cannot be repaired by the home user with tools, directions and intelligence. This stuff isn’t rocket science, and here is another example of Apple’s hubris. Tax dodging to the tune of billions of dollars is one thing, but making crappy phones is another. Man, I’m glad I took some profit from APPL before Xmas, as this year will suck and you can quote me on this.

Lee Dronick

Jeeez Cuda, nothing has happend yet. Someone is fixing to get ready to file a lawsuit, which may not even happen and no guarantee that it would win, the opinions of sea lawyers and astroturfers not withstanding.

CudaBoy

I know, Lee. Slow news month and I’m getting snarky.
Tesla’s Giga factory is chugging along albeit slowly while LG Chem has opened a huge Li-Io battery factory to supply the “rest” of the auto world’s need for batteries and that’s gettin’ me riled because I got into LG Chem only a year ago - and it’s still not too late to get on the bandwagon - but I was hoping Tesla would progress faster - but then nothing involving Tesla is fast except the cars. Saw the Model X SUV - a Ludicrous Mode one in Hollywood the other day - nice candy red. If I win the lottery…...

Lee Dronick

Slow news month? You haven’t been watching politics smile

CudaBoy

That clown show?? As an old man - I’ve seen it all and I don’t expect any seachange to “reality” as it stands now.The 99% will get richer, the Oil and Big Pharms will still purvey poison, the Fed and all the Big Players will keep reaping trillions off the business of War and so forth. Democracy and Capitalism pretty much look like failures now.
  Was watching a long piece on Bitcoins and the revolutionary paradigm that they could bring. It’s not just about “money”; it’s software that could change literally everything and make banks, contracts, “ownership”, the Fed and more moot. Very interesting, it’s the kind of shift that “should” happen because the way the world runs now via the Rothschilds et al is not really fair. I will happily be compost for a weed farm by the time that happens but I sincerely hope that revolution happens.  d;)

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