Apple Fined for Error 53 in Australia
Apple was Tuesday fined Aus$9 million (US$6.7 million) by an Australian court for making false claims about consumer rights when refusing to fix faulty iPhones and iPads previously repaired by a third party.
Customers of the US tech giant had complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after an operating system update disabled their devices in a global issue known as “error 53”.
The users were told by Apple that they were not eligible for a remedy if the iPhone or iPad had been repaired by another company.
The ACCC took Apple to the Federal Court last year over allegedly false or misleading representations to customers with faulty iPhones and iPads about their rights under the law.
“If a product is faulty, customers are legally entitled to a repair or a replacement under the Australian Consumer Law, and sometimes even a refund,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said in a statement.
“The court declared the mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply, or the consumer’s right to a remedy being extinguished.”
Apple admitted misleading at least 275 Australian customers over the issue between February 2015 to February 2016 on its US website, by its Australian store staff and on its customer service phone calls.
The consumer watchdog said Apple had also committed to providing new devices as replacements, after allegations that the company was giving customers refurbished goods instead after a device suffered a major failure.
There was no immediate comment from Apple, which has previously described the error as appearing “when a device fails a security test”. It has released an operating system update to fix the issue.
About error 53
After you try to update or restore your iOS device in iTunes on your Mac or PC, you might see error 53 in iTunes. Error 53 appears when a device fails a security test. This test was designed to check whether Touch ID works properly before the device leaves the factory, and wasn’t intended to affect customers.
For anyone who experienced error 53, Apple released an update in iOS 9.3 to allow you to successfully restore your device using iTunes on your Mac or PC. Use the steps in this article to restore and recover your device. If you believe that you paid for an out-of-warranty device replacement based on an error 53 issue, contact Apple Support to ask about reimbursement.