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

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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

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…