Class action lawsuit filed against Xbox 360

Class action lawsuit filed against Xbox 360

If successful, the class action lawsuit could price a scratched Lionel Richie CD at $5 Million.

For some people even the best of news isn't enough and the new extended warranty which Microsoft is offering on all Xbox 360s just isn't enough to placate some furious Xbox 360 owners who have bought a class action lawsuit against Microsoft.

Interestingly though, the inevitable lawsuit doesn't have anything to do with high failure rates or the dreaded 'red ring of death' which has caused so many problems for technicians. Instead, the lawsuit is about scratched disks.

The lawsuit, reportedly filed by a resident of Florida, alleges that the plaintiffs;

"...have been damaged in that their game discs were destroyed by the Xbox 360 during reasonable, foreseeable, normal, and intended use. The Xbox 360 was negligently designed and manufactured in that the Console's laser disc reading assembly contacts and scratches the video game discs during normal and intended operation and use."

Sounds fair enough really.

The lawyers are apparently trying to claim about $5 million as a result of the damage, which is nothing to a company like Microsoft who has already pledged $1 billion to try and fix the problem of high failure rates in the Xbox 360. Of course, if the plaintiff is successful then the case could set a dangerous precedent if others are quick to make similar claims.

For those who can read large amounts of legalese without suffering from crippling boredom, Joystiq is currently hosting the relevant pages of legal documentation.

Had problems with scratched disks in your 360? Want to sit around the campfire and tell stories about haunted disk drives or swap tips on how to repair discs (we hear Brasso works well)? We do that kind of thing in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
TheDean 10th July 2007, 12:50 Quote
It is about time!!! My GoW disc is unusable due to this problem and MS want me to pay £10 for another disc
Delphium 10th July 2007, 12:51 Quote
I am glad that I managed to resist the temptation of purchasing a 360 as they seam to be plagued with faults it would appear .
*Awaits for his Wii seing as the PS3's are overpriced i feel.
DXR_13KE 10th July 2007, 12:53 Quote
"he who seeds winds, reaps storms"

i would really like to hear the pooping noise, of heads coming out of buts, coming from Microsoft HQ.
alastor 10th July 2007, 13:13 Quote
Brasso does work very well, managed to get a few discs working that wouldn't be read at all. As for the case, can't imagine it'll get far.
DarkLord7854 10th July 2007, 13:35 Quote
I've always thought people who sue others should be shot, and still do. Unless it's something very important. Honestly, if your disk got scratched, they should just let you return it along with the 360, and that's it. If you keep it, knowing full well what it does, then that's your problem.
Firehed 10th July 2007, 13:36 Quote
I've seen quite a few discs scratched like that back when I was working at a video store... it's about time that Microsoft finally did something about it. Or, at least, the people who were affected by the crap DVD drive in the thing.
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854
I've always thought people who sue others should be shot, and still do. Unless it's something very important. Honestly, if your disk got scratched, they should just let you return it along with the 360, and that's it. If you keep it, knowing full well what it does, then that's your problem.

A class-action is pretty different than a normal lawsuit, since it's regarding a widespread issue affecting a great number of people. You know, for a serious issue that you can't individually sue over. In any case, retailers would refuse to accept the disk under the assumption that you mishandled it so you'd be SOL.
zhangmaster12 10th July 2007, 13:40 Quote
i have a friend whose xbox 360 totaly fcked up his GoW disk.
flacowboy 10th July 2007, 13:55 Quote
i bought my 360 when they came out and have not had any problems wiht scratches but then i dont move it when its on and has a disk in it i think this country is to sue happy nothing is ever perfect and you have to use your head sometimes
LVMike 10th July 2007, 14:49 Quote
my first 360 did that to a raindow6 Vegas disk. I returned the disk got a new one.. it did it again. I returned the 360 and picked up an elite and haven't had that problem.
[USRF]Obiwan 10th July 2007, 15:04 Quote
This is a known problem. In my country Microsoft has admits this fault. But only after "kassa" (a dutch concumer programme tv program) did research in the situation after consumers complains. You can read and watch all about it here
KMS-oul 10th July 2007, 15:13 Quote
My first 360 DVD drive left GREASE marks on oblivion. It wiped off thank heavens but after a day or so of playing it would accumulate again. Very strange.
otispunkmeyer 10th July 2007, 15:28 Quote
too right..... my discs are being slowly eroded by my 360.

forza 2 chokes to death on the intro screens because of either scratches or a dodgy drive. thankfully the game plays fine except for the odd occasions where the disc just stops spinning (because its having trouble reading) and the track goes all transparent. my GoW disc was ruined as well, but thankfully that happened pretty much the day i bought it and tesco took it back no questions asked
Hells_Bliss 10th July 2007, 15:39 Quote
I just think MS quality control got high when testing. Another reason why you shouldn't work! drugs! yeah.
riggs 10th July 2007, 16:30 Quote
The only time we've scratched a disc was when my housemate moved the console whilst it was reading...other than that, it's been fine [crosses fingers!]
Swafeman 10th July 2007, 17:13 Quote
i think the majority of the problems is when you move the console when its reading, isnt it? of course, the guy in the law suit isnt going to admit it, but theres somethign wrong with most lazers when they get moved, as the beam is moving and has some sort of effect on it

this happened a couple of times to my mate using his ps2... he changed it from flat to verticle twice, and twice it ruined games. obviously the 360s lazer causes more problems as not many people with ps2s complained, but i think its more a fault of moving the lazer in most cases than an actual dodgy lazer being used
mikeuk2004 10th July 2007, 17:34 Quote
In almost 7 months of ownership I dont think any of my discs are scratched, will have to check when I get home. Ms wont do anything about it, they will fight it and trample all over them and continue to sell defective products. They have had over 20 years of selling defective products and got away with it any people still buy them :)

Ms should suck it up and do a complete recall of all the 360's out their in circulation and replace them with well manufactured units that dont overheat crash and scratch disks.
Veles 10th July 2007, 17:39 Quote
I don't think it's anything to do with the laser, but the housing of the laser, it's is crap so parts of it rub on the disk and scratch it up. There isn't just one type of drive in the 360's, there are about three different models of DVD drives I think, all of them scratch the disk if you tilt it (yes it's stupid to do that while it's on, but a lot of people do, and MS should have accounted for that and used a disk drive that wouldn't care if you moved it like the PS2 had) but it might be that one model has a tendency to chew up disks when the console is completely stationary.

otispunkmeyer: I get that problem with Forza 2 too, I think it's more of a problem with the game, since I rarely get it with any other game (apart from GoW but they fixed that it seems).

As much as I like the 360, whoever was responsible for letting the console out for sale needs a slap, it's a pretty shoddy design that ruins a perfectly good console.
Lucidity 10th July 2007, 18:03 Quote
If you don't want your discs to get scratched up don't move the console while its on, and don't keep it upright. Even though the console is designed to work in the upright position the slightest vibration to the surface it is sitting on could cause the disc to move and get scratched. Something as simple as walking by your entertainment center could cause enough movement of the console to scratch the disc. The PS2 has the same problem. My console sits horizontally and since launch day has yet to scratch a disc. Call me a fanboy if you want, but I now own a PS3, and had a will (hated it and sold it).
Tokukachi 10th July 2007, 18:19 Quote
The solutions simple, Dont put your console in the vertical postion, CD/DVD drives are not really designed for this and will scratch the Discs. This has been a problem since the PS2 came out and no one seams to learn
Neogumbercules 10th July 2007, 19:37 Quote
They are sure to win if that guy is their lawyer.
Veles 10th July 2007, 19:44 Quote
I had my PS2 in a vertical position since I got it, I had no problems with scratched disks, DVD drives work fine in a vertical position, and yes, a slight vibration can cause the disk to wobble whereas with a horizontal position, it's not so prevalent, but it's very easy to make a drive that doesn't scratch disks, all it needs is a few pads to stop the disk moving to an angle where it gets scratched by the innards of the DVD drive.

You might say it's common sense to put it horizontal, but to many people it's not, and since they designed the console to go in a vertical position, it should be able to run properly in a vertical position, that's still grounds for a class action lawsuit.
DXR_13KE 10th July 2007, 20:07 Quote
Originally Posted by Veles
all it needs is a few pads to stop the disk moving to an angle where it gets scratched by the innards of the DVD drive.

simple, easy and cheap, Microsoft take note!!!!!
The_Beast 10th July 2007, 21:14 Quote
I'm glad I didn't buy a xbox 360
CollinstheClown 10th July 2007, 21:58 Quote
I have 3 360s, not a single one has had this problem.. nor any problem for that matter. Simple rule of thumb, don't turn the console.. really... what reason would you have for doing it in the first place? The other is don't block the console in, that will prevent the RRoD.

Bungle 10th July 2007, 23:38 Quote
Would be interesting to see, how much owners would have been prepared to spend to get a slightly more robust design. Unlike other consumer markets, you have no choice to buy the more expensive (better quality build) version of a console. Any attempt to address a hardware hotspot results in a void warranty on the end users part. Not very good for Joe public IMO.
BurningFeetMan 11th July 2007, 02:34 Quote
Originally Posted by Bungle
Would be interesting to see, how much owners would have been prepared to spend to get a slightly more robust design.

Dude, I'm not a rubber pad expert, but I can safely assume that they cost three fifths of f**k all. ;) Why oh WHY Microsoft removed these rubber pads from the final product beats me. They were on the original disc drive design for a very good reason, so why take them off!?

Anyway. *Hugs Gamecube*
Bladestorm 11th July 2007, 08:01 Quote
Theres precedent for different models of drive being used, much as the original xbox used different brands and sizes of hard drives - because they couldn't get enough of any one given model at the price they wanted in the timeframe they needed, I wouldn't be surprised if the same had happenned with dvd drivers for the 360.

Assuming thats true, odds are they stopped using the brand with the biggest issues some time ago after the problem became apparent, so more recently produced ones probably wouldn't have the problem, not that it helps people who would have already gotten the duff ones.
completemadness 11th July 2007, 16:54 Quote
uh i don't think you want a rubber pad, if its rubber and the disk touches it, its going to cause some major friction, and that's gonna cause a problem for something

but a cloth pad would work fine, or maybe a pad made of the same stuff on the bottom of mice :P (like the g5 - Polytetrafluoroethylene feet)
THKO 13th July 2007, 16:33 Quote
If you have a Xbox 360 Console that is not scratching your discs during normal use, congratulations and enjoy. If you do and would like more information about the proposed class action lawsuit, please contact THKO at
The Brain 27th July 2007, 14:16 Quote
I leave me XBOX 360 on a horizontal base. I never move it, as many of you are suggesting, but I frequently have this problem with my 360. I don't want big money as a replacement, but simply sending me a replacement DVD drive that WON'T do this would be enough. I enjoy playing and have fought and suffered though the machine locking up games because of this. Just last night my NCAA Football 08 game came up unreadable. I could almost stand it if the game had been saved and I hadn't lost all progress I'd made, but it annoys me that many of you who have no idea as to what's going on in the situation simply blame it on the user. For a tech forum you members are extremely ignorant. (This doesn't mean all users here BTW)
themax 27th July 2007, 15:00 Quote
The issue isn't user. Most people know not to move the console when it's in use. But why is my PS2, when standing verticle, doesn't put a halo on my disc if it happens to fall over from it's verticle position (someone bumps it or whatever) yet my 360 damn near ate up my Oblivion disc when It was bumped slightly, while I was trying to flip the HDTV switch in the back. If PS2's and Gamecube can withstand some movement and human error why is the 360 the only exception to this?
cardinal65 20th September 2008, 21:50 Quote
Check this after-market fix.

Has anyone tried this and if so can you report on how easy or difficult it was to install the pads?
staples 22nd September 2008, 00:17 Quote
I have too seen this problem many many times with discs, sometimes after the first use.
Pro Evo was a bugger for it.

Though the 360 is a bargain price the hardware is not finished and early adopters probably feel like they are playing on an ageing system and that is not particularly fair.
Putting the 360 horizontally of course helps but putting it vertically is part of its selling point so it should offer a strong attempt at solving any potential issues.
Good job games are so cheap.

Have there been any reported PS3 issues?
VictorianBloke 22nd September 2008, 00:55 Quote
Originally Posted by cardinal65
Check this after-market fix.

Has anyone tried this and if so can you report on how easy or difficult it was to install the pads?

I've seen this but not been able to bring myself to disassemble the console, the extended warranty is far more appealing, especially as i seem to be one of the few people with an original build 360 that hasn't yet suffered from the rrod yet. I have had to take toothpaste to my Gears disk though and still not got past act 2 through constant "disk cannot be read" errors, bring on the November dashboard update so i can install it to the HDD and finally complete the bloody thing.
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