Apple faces class action lawsuit over Powerbeats Pro charging issues

The earbuds' fit in the charging case might be to blame.

Billy Steele/Engadget

Apple is facing another lawsuit over Powerbeats battery trouble. New York resident Alejandro Vivar has filed a potential class action lawsuit over allegations Powerbeats Pro design defects prevents the wireless earbuds from charging properly. As it's reportedly too easy to lose contact between the buds and their charging case, one of the earpieces either won't charge "consistently" or quickly drain its charge. Apple committed fraud by misrepresenting battery life and failing to address issues it supposedly knew about, the plaintiff said.

Vivar's attorneys suggest a combination of the case design and an insufficiently sturdy ear "gasket" (the piece that goes into your ear) may be responsible. Customers have had to resort to inserting a "wedge" to keep the charging pins in contact, according to the lawsuit. The lawyers also reject Apple's claims the Powerbeats Pro are sweat- and water-resistant, arguing that sweat corrodes the charging contacts.

The lawsuit calls for Apple to "correct" the situation, compensate affected users and pay unspecified damages. If the lawsuit is fully certified as a class action, it would cover both New York customers as well as those in Georgia, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Virginia.

We've asked Apple for comment. As with many such lawsuits, there's no certainty it will reach class action status or lead to compensation. And don't expect a windfall even if the case succeeds — with some exceptions, class actions tend to result in small payouts. If anything, the lawsuit may do more to affect design choices than Powerbeats Pro buyers' bank accounts.