Flexgate - MacBook Pro 2016-2017 backlight issue

The problem.

TL;DR : MacBook Pro LCD fails after warranty period because of bad hardware design. It should be fixed by Apple for free. Please, sign this petition .

Everyday that you use your laptop, you open and close the lid each time you need it. Modern laptops are designed for a fairly large occurrences of openings and closures. The new MacBooks Pro are an exception to this rule.

Using the MacBook Pro 2016 and later under normal conditions over time, your laptop may start to show following symptoms:

  1. Stage light effect appears at the bottom of the screen when you set at a high brightness level.
  2. Backlight shutdown comes after opening the lid for above at a certain degree.

Stage light effect and backlight shutdown illustrated in the video

Both of them are caused by a fractured display flex cable due to fatigue. Without any doubt, this is an Apple’s serious hardware design flaw.

Most of the laptops started to suffer this issue after the 1-year warranty period! And the number of reports increases every day!

There is no way to replace this cable apart as it soldered to the LCD. Apple forces unlucky owners to pay $600+ for a whole LCD replacement!

The solution.

Apple must launch an extended warranty program addressing this issue as soon as possible and replace affected displays for free. Also, the people who already repaired their laptops for fee, should receive a refund too.

What I should do?

We kindly ask you to do the following simple steps:

  1. Sign this petition on change.org website which is addressed directly to Apple.
  2. Share this page wherever possible to reach more affected Mac users.
  3. Publish your cases in the social networks using hashtag #flexgate .
  4. If your laptop has failed, visit an Apple Store so they can record and count each such cases.
  5. Sign up to our website to keep informed about this and future Apple’s devices issues.

We hope to reach Apple and expect them to launch the extended warranty program as soon as possible.

Affected devices:

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

Update 06/03/2019:

Folks from iFixit recently discovered that Apple may have fixed the #flexgate issue in MacBook Pros 2018 by extending the backlight cable. This suggests that Apple is aware of the problem but still will not admit it.

Some people have reported that they were able to repair their laptops at the Apple Store for free, so it may be worthwhile to try that if your laptop has already failed.

We have almost reached our goal. Apple cannot ignore this issue any longer, so we are expecting Apple to launch an extended warranty program soon.

Update 21/05/2019:

Apple eventually recognized the problem and launched a screen replacement program, so you can repair your laptop affected to #flexgate problem for free or get a refund for such repairs.

However, the program covers only 2016 13-inch models.

According to user reports, the models of 2017 and 15-inch models are also subject to the problem, so for now we are not closing the petition.

Related links

2 Likes

Read old comments here: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/appleissues/flexgate/

My device is Macbook pro 2017 13 inch (2 Thunderbolt ports). I bought this device on 21st September 2017. Sometime in May this year i.e 2020, my device showed some effects of flexgate.

The bottom part of the screen showed stagelight behaviour on opening the lid. At first I thought it was some sort of software bug. But slowly it started to spread on opening the lid at even lower angles.

This happened during the lockdown. I felt like a cripple since I am a programmer and without a working laptop I was helpless. I tried to program as much as I could on the phone, but a phone can never match a laptop for that.

Be aware that at this point, the screen had completely blacked out. Tried to convince the Apple support guy, and his answer was as expected, “We are not aware of this issue but we can set you up with the nearest AASP to service your laptop”, which is a sweet way of saying we are instructed to sway away from this topic to lure you out to our AASP where the person will charge you $800 for changing the whole display.

Now comes the keyboard part. In simple terms, this keyboard is SHIT. My L, cntrl, f4 etc keys do not work. But still I managed somehow. But I lost it when my Shift and left arrow key failed. My frustration had no bounds then. A programmer can understand my pain.

Now comes the SSD part. It works for now. But on Apple website, I saw that my model’s SSD could fail anytime due to a defective manufacturing unit. So there its instructed to service it within 3 years of purchase that will end on 21st of Sept this year.

But the issue here is, our dear Apple will not service anything unless all the other things are working properly. So my keyboard and SSD wont be taken care of until my Flexgate display issue is resolved first.

Now I have no idea when/if Apple will service 2017 and later models. I know there is a lawsuit hanging but if they don’t sort this out before Sept 21, then my SSD cannot be serviced, which my laptop could fail at any time and since the SSD is soldered to the Logic board, I will have to replace the whole Logic board unit for around $800, which takes me back to square one.

I really love Apple products. I am a loyal customer. But things like these is really not acceptable. Nobody other than me has the slightest idea how much I regret buying this laptop.

Sincerely
Frustrated Apple Customer

2 Likes

My 2016 MacBook Pro model did not even qualify for the service program. Who knows why? Apple says that all 2016 pro models get the display repair free of charge, but it turns out to be a total joke. Apple is lying to all of us…

My 2017 13" MacBook Pro showed signed of this (stagelights), and now the screen is on when the laptop is open up to 5cm, then cuts off. I can remote login or use and external screen, but the screen is gone.

Out of warranty, looks like I’ll have to repair this. I’ve been quoted £450 to repair for a laptop that is now worth £700…

Has anyone looked at replacing the screen themselves? I’m looking at the ifixit guide now.

I am facing issues with LED and keyboard with MBP 2017 with touch bar. Keys get typed twice thrice while writing a code and it becomes very frustrating. Twice my Display has been shut but this time my Laptop is out of warranty and the price to replace is too high(paid for extended warranty too).

Petición firmada. Igual caso con una Macbook Pro 13 2017 Flexgate defectuoso

petition signed! lets share to get to more people!

2017 MacBook pro 13-inch touchbar screen has the same screen backlight problem as the MacBook Pro 2016 version: stage lights. But it is not among the models of the backlight plan. The backlight plan is only the 2016 version. I want to know how many friends also have this problem~

The notebook appeared one after another (usually very loving):

The keyboard is sticky and inflexible (keyboard service plans for MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro)
Screen backlight problem, only 2016 version plan, no 2017~2018 version

This problem occurs one after another on the 13000 RMB notebooks. I don’t know how Apple’s quality and hardware aging tests have passed? Resolutely request Apple to include the same problem notebooks from 2017 to 2018 into the plan.

Strongly appeal to Apple to treat it fairly!

Fans who have the same problem promptly and actively communicate with Apple officials to strive for fair treatment.strong text

My MBP 2016 also has the stage lights issue.

How about cooked T-Con boards. Bad manufacturing.

I have the Macbook pro 2017 13 inch as well. Today I noticed my screen would turn black if i open the lid more than ~70 degrees. I’ve tried opening it very slowly- as i open it, the screen display works before turning to a lower brightness level with vertical lines at the bottom of screen, then turns fully black.

It’s so frustrating that Apple only gives an extended warranty and resolved this issue for Macbook 2016s. Has anyone has success in getting this repaired for free? My applecare warranty ended 3 months ago.

Hello! I have the same back light problem. I have the 2017 13” MackBook Pro. I can only open the lid to 30 degree angle, and it turns off if I keep opening it. I am a loyal apple custumer, and feel really frustrated and disappointed that apple is not taking responsibility and responding for the defect in design in the 2017 model. I hope Apple address this problem and offer service program for the 2017 MacBook Pros with the same problem.

Apple please read this, and take action!

1 Like

I have the same issue with my Macbook Pro 2017. I don’t understand why Apple is not offering the free repair program for 2017 as well as 2016. Makes NO SENSE

I thought Apple users are happy to pay for their expensive devices for their good aftercare, but it’s not the case anymore? Did they become cheap to save money? Such a disappointment.

Hi I’m the same my MacBook pro 2017 13 inch (2 Thunderbolt ports) bought November 2017 is having same issue now. Speaking to Apple custom service -kind but useless. Shocking that they are set up the program to repair 2016 but not 2017 haven same faulty backlight panel issue. Seems they are very reluctant to admit manufacturing issues in their devices. I think we can expect the pick of complains coming now as now the flaw is showing up. I spotted that last year around November. first thought it will go away with the next update. In January screen started flickering then looked into it and found lots of postings regarding flexgate issue. Bought that as believed it it may not happen for the expensive device. so disappointed :frowning:

2017 MBP 13 inch - Has Stage lighting and cannot open past 30*

Took it to Apple store and they quoted me $487 to fix. I am not paying 40% of the price for a brand new MBP to fix a 2017 model.

Come on Apple - stand behind your product.

Will be calling apple customer support and will report back.

Hi! Just adding to this cup of woe. I have a 15" mid 2017 MBP (A1707) that developed blank screen problems when opening more than 20-25’, almost by Oct 2019, exactly 2 years since I bought it. COVID intervened. So didn’t get to the AASC till last week. The quote is for INR 56k, almost 25% of the price I paid for the computer.

Didn’t get any joy from the chat i had with Apple support. The support person said the reason why Apple has not notified the 2017s model for the replacement program is ostensibly because “not enough complaints have come about the 2017 models”.

Will the Admins make sure these responses and the change.org petition goes to the decision maker at APPLE so they can no longer pretend they dont know about it.

The support person also suggested that the “cheapest option to fix this issue is to use an external monitor” - salt on wounds…

Apple- please extend the screen replacement program to 2017 models as well. People just dont have as much money as before, and the future is uncertain. #covidcasuality

2 Likes

Not sure if it helps anything, but I created a topic to complain about why 2017 Macbook Pros are not included in the repair program. It’d be great if you could drop a like to get their attention.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252561438

I’d deliberately ruin the anti-gloss coating just to make it eligible for a screen replacement under the staingate program, if anyone had tried that and succeeded. Call me unethical but no way is Apple getting away with this bs

2 Likes

I agree with you @a_poo_computer,
If someone has both of the issues (flexgate + staingate) should try it! you have nothing to loose!