Settlement Approved in iPod Battery Class Action Suit

August 30, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

A San Mateo County judge has approved the settlement of a class action suit that will offer relief to as many as 1.3 million iPod owners who may have been victim to poor or defective batteries. The original lawsuit, filed on behalf of US residents, alleged that Apple Computer Inc. (Washington) failed to disclose the battery limitations of its first three iPod models. The first-generation and second-generation iPod models use a UP325385 3.7 V/1,230 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery from Sony Corp. (Tokyo), and the third-generation models use a Sony UP325385 3.7 V/850 mAh lithium-ion battery.

The settlement applies to consumers who purchased an iPod model on or before May 31, 2004, and saw the charge of their iPod battery drop to four hours or less on a third-generation iPod, or five hours or less on one of the first two generation models. Under the settlement, owners of either a first-generation or second-generation model are entitled to $25 cash or $50 credit at the Apple store. Owners who paid Apple to repair a battery in one of the players (at a cost of $59) will be entitled to up to half of that cost back. Owners of third-generation iPod models are entitled to a free replacement battery if the battery fails. In order to make claims, iPod owners must submit individual claim forms for each iPod they own as instructed by the Apple iPod settlement website.

The settlement could cost Apple as much as $15 million in total, which is less than the $100 million quoted when the settlement was conditionally approved in June.