A Texas couple sued Apple on Monday, alleging their 12-year-old son suffered “permanent hearing loss” when his AirPods sounded so loud it tore one of his eardrums.
The boy, now 14 and identified in the lawsuit as BG, was using his AirPods Pro with his iPhone to watch Netflix in 2020 when an Amber Alert arrived, the lawsuit, filed by Carlos Gordoa and Ariani Reyes of San Antonio.
BG was watching Netflix at “low volume,” the suit said, but when the Amber Alert was issued, it “came on suddenly and without warning, at a volume that tore BG’s eardrum, damaged his cochlea, and caused significant damage to BG’s hearing.”
BG will have to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life, the suit said. He also suffered from dizziness, vertigo, nausea and tinnitus after the incident.
“AirPods do not automatically reduce, control, limit, or increase notification or alert volumes to a safe level that causes them to sound,” the suit said. He added that there were no instructions for adjusting the alert sound or warnings that the volume could be so loud that it would cause damage.
Gordoa and Reyes’ lawsuit said Apple knew or should have known of the defect causing the sound alerts, but chose not to fix it.
The lawsuit includes examples of customers complaining about the issue online, lamenting that there was no way to adjust the alert volume. The lawsuit said hundreds of people were searching for a solution to the problem on Apple’s support website.
“Please fix this. I literally threw my AirPods across the room when I received a shrill text alert while listening to peaceful music. Not cool,” it read.
Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.