Apple settles iPod battery class action suit

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Apple has agreed to settle a class action suit filed against it by owners of iPods who say the company misrepresented the capabilities of the iPod’s built-in rechargeable battery. Apple is offering a US$50 coupon and extended warranties to consumers who can produce a receipt. The plan is expected to receive final approval before a federal judge in August, but the details are already in place.

Apple first released the iPod in the fall of 2001. By 2003, several plantiffs had filed suit against Apple alleging that the iPod did not have the battery life Apple represented in advertising and promotional material, and that the battery’s capacity to hold a charge diminished substantially over time.

Apple has denied the plantiffs’ claims, but has agreed to a settlement that provides iPod owners with proofs of purchase with one of several possible remedies: A store credit, voucher, partial compensation for a battery replacement if one has been made already, or extended warranty coverage — depending on the age of the iPod and the particular circumstances.

The settlement covers owners of first, second or third-generation iPods who purchased their devices before May 31, 2004. For third-generation iPod owners, Apple is extending the one-year warranty for a second year. Third-generation iPod owners who submit a claim can either get their battery replaced for free or get a store credit for $50, that can be redeemed at the Apple Store online or at kiosks at brick-and-mortar Apple Store locations.

Consumers who bought a first or second-generation iPod who experienced a battery failure within two years of purchase can likewise get a $50 Apple Store credit, or a check payment of $25. And those first, second or third-generation iPod owners who paid for a battery replacement under Apple’s iPod Battery Replacement Program will be paid 50 percent of their costs, according to the agreement.

The claim deadline for this settlement is September 30, 2005 or two years after the original purchase date of the iPod, whichever is later.

A Web site has been created that provides all of the relevant details for the settlement, including a claim form, instructions, frequently asked questions (FAQ) list and more.

This story, "Apple settles iPod battery class action suit" was originally published by PCWorld.

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