New MacBook TouchBar not responding to touch, but shows a display

SOLVED: Vendor sent faulty touch bar

I had a touchbar fail recently in an a1989 MBP 2018 13” and would not display anything at all. I assumed it might have gotten damaged while repairing the laptop but I found no obvious way that could happen.

I ordered a new TouchBar assembly with the bar and replacement ribbon cable. The new TouchBar shows content and it changes as expected, but it does not respond to touch at all. It also doesn’t respond to touch when booted to an external drive with a different installation on it, nor does it respond in recovery mode. It’s as if something is disabled or disconnected, but I’ve triple checked the connections on all 3 cable connection points for the OLED and digitizer and they are seated and secured correctly.

I have reset the SMC and PRAM, rebooted the computer. I killed the TouchBar processes like ControlApp and Server, **however I am unable to see TouchBarAgent running and I cannot find a file for it in /usr/libexec.**

Obviously the new bar addressed the screen being black, and it seems like this should be a simple fix. One website had mentioned that the TouchBar and the logic board must be replaced together due to the T1 chip, but guidance I’ve read here and other places seem to contradict that. (Plus the fact you can find lone TouchBar assemblies for sale everywhere with no mention of them being useless). The TouchID button does seem to work, I think, it tells me my fingerprint is incorrect at login.

Can anyone offer some guidance to verify if I received a faulty TouchBar, if it is a software issue, or if somehow the logic board is the issue (seems unlikely since the new bar fixed half the problem)? This is turning into an emergency because the customer needs it back soon to go to college and they were unable to get it to me until this week and now I’m in a bit of a panic (not that any of this matters in the context of this post, just crap crap holy crap). TouchBar mysteriously stops working while I’m doing something unrelated and I don’t want to be on the hook for an expensive repair.

I hope I’ve provided enough information, please ask if you need more, I hope to have an understanding soon, my time runs out on Monday before I have to decide if it’s worth while to order another TouchBar and wait the final week on it before the customer has to leave town.

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