Danish consumer agency finds design flaw in Apple iBook

After receiving complaints from iBook owners that their machines would no longer start up, the Danish Consumer Complaints Board conducted a detailed study of four complaints received between April and November 2006, including a microscopic examination of the faulty machines' motherboards. The board concluded a manufacturing defect caused solder joints around a voltage regulator to be flawed in such a way as to deteriorate each time the computer was turned on or off, resulting in power failures in some of Apple's iBook G4 notebook computers. Using a clamp to apply pressure to the computers' casing, next to the trackpad, closed up the broken joints and allowed the computer to start.

Apple was already ordered to refund one Danish customer, with interest, and expects its findings to influence cases elsewhere, said spokesman Frederik Boesgaard Navne. The board, part of Denmark's government-funded National Consumer Agency, had already received 10 complaints about the computers, but since publishing the report at the start of the week has already received five more. Apple has not challenged the contents of the study. Reports of faulty G4 iBooks have surfaced in other countries, and the board has supplied a copy of its findings to lawyers for one owner in the U.S., Navne said. Apple has no obligation to comply with the board's order to refund the customer's money, but "If they don't accept our ruling, we will help the customer sue Apple," Navne said. Apple has so far refused to acknowledge the defect in the iBook G4s.

News source: InfoWorld

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