Seattle law firm considers filing a class-action suit against Apple for the "error 53" issue

Seattle law firm considers filing a class-action suit against Apple for the "error 53" issue
Last Friday, we told you about the "error 53" message that some Apple iPhone users have been receiving. The error message occurs when repairs are made to the Touch ID fingerprint scanner by non-Apple repair shops using unauthorized parts. Once the error message appears, the phone becomes unusable, the warranty is voided and photos, data and other content are gone forever.

The scary part of the "error 53" story is that it is a problem that lies dormant until you update your Apple iPhone 6 or Apple iPhone 6 Plus to iOS 9. At that point, the software is looking for authorized parts and shuts down the phone when it doesn't find them. In a statement issued on Friday, Apple says that those affected with the problem need to contact Apple support immediately.

On its website, Seattle law firm PCVA writes that it is investigating the possibility of initiating a class-action suit against Apple. The law firm believes that Apple has created the "error 53" issue as a way to force iPhone users to pay the higher prices that Apple charges for repairs.


We should mention that if you think that by winning a class-action suit against Apple you will get enough money to buy a new iPhone, guess again. Most class-action suits pay very little to the members of the class while the lawyers wind up with a decent pay day. In addition, most class-action suits make you give up your right to sue individually.

If you're confident that you will be able to get more by appealing to Apple's sense of fairness than two quarters taped to a postcard, you might want to consider taking matters into your own hands by placing that call to Cupertino yourself.

source: PCVALaw via AppleInsider

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70 Comments

70. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sue the socks off their deadbeat @$$'. That will teach you to brick my phone you cheap-tarded pricks! I hope they sue you until you are no longer able to sell your crap until its fixed. If the iPhone 7 is fixed this way, it better come with a warning or you will be sued again. Forcing people to fix their phone which they by YOU only has to be against the law. My dealer isn't going to void my warranty for an oil change, as long as I take my car to a reputable company and its not goign to cause my car to simply stop working. The Macs are the same way. Can't replace a drive because the Mac will refuse to boot. This is BS and has never been done by any brand whatsoever! EVER! Apple or any brand who tries this, should not only be sued, but all affected products should be recalled from the shelves and preventd from being sold and either retun everyones money or replace the phone with a non-effected model. When you root a recent Samsung device that has Samsung Pay and Samsung Knox, it will disable those features permanently, but the rest of the phone works as intended. I am not sure what is any affect would happen with a 3rd party repair. I don't know of any shops that do 3rd party repairs on Samsung products. if my phone is that broken, I simply pay the deductible of my carriers insurance and get it replaced. Bricking a phone a customer paid for simple because they had it repaired by a 3rd party with working parts, that simply aren;t YOUR parts directly is an absolute travesty. The fact NO APPLE FAN HAS SPOKE UP shows you guys will allow apple to f**k you over and over and over again. If samsung tried some crap liek this you hating trolling lifeless corpses will rie out of your graves (moms basement) and attack us for such things. But when you are called out when Apple makes a major screw up, the usuall trolling piece of crap suspects liek Mxy and Jeddi, go into hiding with their tails stuck in their @$$ with no argument whatsoever. Even though I wont buy an apple product for such reasons as this, that doesn't mean I want to see customers who by their products get shafted. IT'S WRONG whether I like the company or not. Apple charges more than top dollar for its half-baked products. They are so worried about trying to find ways to look you in, like forcing you to use their apps by default, havign access to iCloud only with their devices, only havign their stuff repaired by them for prices that are beyond ridiculous and yet the fans that bend over and let Apple have their way with them. Stop letting Apple rape you. You aren't leasing the phone from Apple, you pay for ownership. If I take my phone to a 3rd party and they break my phone doing a repair, I expect them to provide a solution which would be my fault. But to purposely make my phone stop working with half-baked updates.patches or rigged hardware is an absolute crime and Apple should be punished.

63. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

I had dealt with that error after an iPhone repair and did quite a bit of research on it. It's typical Apple bs. The ribbon cable just bent the wrong way when I put the screen down and THAT is what caused it. Ridiculous really.

55. tnuc2014

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 12, 2014

The only thing that will eventually kill Apple, is Apple. Generally speaking their customer service is excellent; but they have an appalling track record on how they handle wider issues, such as 'antennagate' and 'bendgate'. They almost show disdain for their customers.

54. tnuc2014

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 12, 2014

It is perfectly fine for Apple to invalidate the warranty....but to deliberately sabotage the customer's phone, potentially losing important data is just plan wrong. As many people have stated on here; there should at least have been a clear warning about this, to enable customers to make an informed decision, as opposed to being shocked into submission.

50. netizen

Posts: 73; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

If Ford, Chevy, or any other manufactures did this there would be mass riots in the street... No manufacturer should be able to force customers to buy parts and services for the items they purchased and own, by causing them to break down if they aren't purchased and installed by them. This is a no brainer... I'd never buy from a company that would resort to this type of tactic.

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Techie will be along shortly to drop a bible sized rant on this one.

52. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

But this time it would be reasonable. Apple really f.cked up on this one

56. tnuc2014

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 12, 2014

I agree. They have a strong case to invalidate the warranty, but to brick the phone with no prior warning that this could happen, is a total outrage. They may not lose a court case because they are so powerful, but they will ultimately lose customers. Even die hard Apple fans will see through this sh*t eventually.

67. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

"Even die hard Apple fans will see through this sh*t eventually." Evidence to the contrary right here in the comments section. I just can't believe how some people can still defend them on this. If Google or one of the Android OEMS did this deliberately, I'd be done with them. I understand that these kinds of things happen from time to time, where an update will brick a device, but in those cases it's usually something that was missed in the coding of the update. To do it intentionally is ridiculous.

21. garciano unregistered

be very afraid never trust apple

14. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

they need to, IF there reason is to protect the ID part then, simply deactivate the feature until a authorized repair is done to reactive it

10. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

They will lose if they try and sue Apple.

6. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Hate to say it but to some extent I agree with Apple here because like on games consoles some components like optical drives are encoded to work only in the console it was created for for security purposes, and the iPhone fingerprint sensor is a major security feature you can't just swap over and get access to a stolen/locked phone.

15. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

the feature should be deactivated and switch over to password

41. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

while not deleting all data, and bricking their phone, lol

18. engineer-1701d unregistered

do you really think you can just switch the sensor to another phone and you can unlock it, did you graduate pre-school yet. have you ever repaired anything or fixed anything in your life.

47. Baracus

Posts: 223; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Shush! if you're just going to be a dumbass troll.

46. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

The fingerprint reader doesn't hold no data, It's a meh human interface device (HID) for the OS to receive input from the user, the OS then stores data in a "secure enclave" according to Apple. Having a different HID wouldn't put the data that's already stored at risk, worst case would be the HID would be reading incorrect input data, thus the OS won't be able to match the input with what is already stored. To avoid any risk, the OS can simply disable the HID device. But no, instead apple would rather screw their customer's data and brick the entire device...

2. rick_mobile

Posts: 359; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

I hope they do sue apple an win, this is absurd stupidity and greediness from apple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tOaWuvTjFg Even though is mostly the lawyers trying to get a fat check, In the long run maintenance for apple products will be much more accessible and affordable, hopefully.

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Are you really this stupid? How is this greediness from Apple? Because you allowed a repair shop to use parts, UNAUTHORIZED parts at that, to fix your broken iPhone? There exist legitimate iPhone repair shops. Don't blame Apple for a customers idiocy in believing a repair shop that bought a $30 kit off eBay and are all of a sudden fixing and repairing iPhones. And this comment goes for anyone who actually agrees with you and are thumbing your comment up.

8. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Error 53 is indeed a security feature, from Apple's ecosystem PoV. But Apple should have mentioned this clearly beforehand. Imagine this scenario where Your iPhone with iOS 8.3 did work, before something happened to it, and you Had To repair it from some 3rd party repair shop, who fixed the problem albeit with different parts. And your phone works again. November - you're waiting for the iOS 9 update, you download it, you get error 53 and boom bricked! How would you feel about that? Rendering a phone, he is using for a year or two, completely useless can't possibly be good for a consumer!

9. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Hey genius why the hell shouldn't I have the right to repair my f**king iphone where the hell I want to? Why the hell there is not any message which warns you that your valuable data will be gone forever if you update your iphone? P.S. Not every country has an authorized Apple store, so what the hell should I do ( I live in Georgia and there is no Apple store ) if my phone breaks? Why I have to travel to different country, buy a plane ticket and spent at least 800$ to repair a f**king 100$ screen?

12. rick_mobile

Posts: 359; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

Are you serious? The parts are ridiculously cheap. Any third party supplier can repair them and apple can easily re-code the keys that register and pair the components but they don't want to, in order to keep the cash inflow instead of letting independent shops repair them. A basic course in electronics will teach you how easily it is to repair and recode any electronic device. Now get the hell out of here with your stupid fanboy-ism.

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

And then what happens if those shops f-ck up and messes up the phone? That customer will more than likely go to Apple. The parts are ridiculously cheap for Samsung phones. Don't be a hypocrite.

39. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I seriously can't believe you're standing behind them on this. If the shop messes up, it's out of warranty and they'll have to pay to have it resolved, but at least it could be resolved. In this case, it goes in a landfill. And parts are ridiculously cheap for most any smartphone out there. Look at any of the teardown videos and the component costs are the same for most any phone out there.

43. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

So by your logic, to prevent customers from experiencing a phone "messed up" by those shops, messing up the users data is the solution? Pathetic...

51. vananucho

Posts: 83; Member since: Jun 01, 2011

Ridiculously cheap? What are you drunk on? Samsung screens for most models run for about twice or 3x the price of iphone/typicap IPS panel ones. AMOLED & youm panels arent exactly cheap to build, or at least not as cheap as those IPS's from apple. And if a shop f*cks up, they should be at least be able to provide a replacement on what they screwed. When I used to have a repair shop that's how sh*t used to work. We break it, We pay it for the customer. And so, apple should pay the repairs or fix it for all the cx's they ripped off with this error 53 sh*t. End of the story.

17. engineer-1701d unregistered

wow you are stupid who do you think sell the ebay stores the parts moron its all the same but the ser number for the part not being enabled in the software for repair during boot

26. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Look at what you write before you call others stupid. This error is not just appearing because unauthorised parts are being used, but many other reasons as well. Phones that are working fine or have had unrelated repairs are being bricked. When you buy a product you have the right to repair it where you wish. If that invalidates a warranty it is your decision, but for Apple to build in a way to detect this and then effectively destroy YOUR OWN property is for me criminal damage. Remember the majority of iPhone users do not live near stores or have the choice to buy Apple, They may well have no choice but to go to a non-Apple repair shop. From my experience where I cannot but Apple Care and there are no Apples Stores anywhere near me, getting a product repaired is "officially" is very difficult and requires me to be without it for months. That is if I get clearance locally to get a repair where they always try to blame any fault on drop, water damage or other reasons. Therefore I am forced to go unofficial, no problem as everytime I have done this the repair has worked and it has not cost an arm and a leg. Being forced to take Apples route and having a perfectly functioning phone ruined because an arrogant and criminal (in my mind) company wants to force me to do things only their way in simple intolerable.

31. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

They didn't destroy your property. You simply cannot use THEIR software, which is tied into an ecosystem of THEIR design. By using unsigned parts, hackers can gain access. Your device is not broken, you simply cannot use the software your AGREED TOO.

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