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Lawsuit against Nvidia seeks class action

Lawsuit against Nvidia seeks class action

The affected ranges of mobile Nvidia GPUs were put into millions of laptops, and a successful class action suit could cost the company dearly.

The faulty graphics chip débâcle that raised its ugly head last year may be coming back to bite Nvidia where it hurts with the news that five separate lawsuits are seeking class action status.

As reported by ComputerWorld, the plaintiffs behind five lawsuits – brought by owners of Apple, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard laptops affected by the design flaw in certain Nvidia mobile GPUs – have agreed to join forces and seek class action status in an attempt to force Nvidia to address the issue once and for all.

The flaw, which seems to stem from a GPU which overheats under normal usage, has resulted in several companies extending their warranties to help cover customers affected by the issue – but the plaintiffs believe this extended support doesn't go far enough to address the problem.

Instead, the suits request a complete recall and replacement program for all laptops affected by the flaw. Describing attempts to fix the issue in a software patch which increases the fan speed to better cool the chip as a “grossly inadequate 'remedy,' [which] results in additional manifest defects including, without limitation, further degraded battery life, system performance and increased noise,” the combined suit requests that Nvidia replaces the faulty GPUs and pays damages to those affected by the issue.

With Nvidia having already told the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it expected a $196 million charge to result from its handling of this issue, the company can ill afford to lose a class action suit that could potentially cover millions of laptops sold over a wide ranging period.

Should Nvidia be sorting the issue out properly without the need for a lawsuit, or are the plaintiffs just trying to get something for nothing? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

11 Comments

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liratheal 13th May 2009, 10:18 Quote
I'd have said a recall should have been put in effect from the start.

Damages? Unless it set you or your belongings on fire, no. Replacement with a non-affected chip or laptop? Sure.
JyX 13th May 2009, 10:51 Quote
A lot of offices switched from desktops to notebooks so imagine the need for them to work, even if they are private property of each individual, than damages for not fixing the problem the right way and right away instead of moaning that it's not a serious issue are justified.

Nvidia went about it the wrong way and covered it up when in fact the issue was still there... even after it got public and Apple jumped on board later on and I do recall right that Nvidia's prs assured Apple everything is under control... under the consumer protection laws that's an illegal practice and people affected by it as well as companies can seek damages.
airchie 13th May 2009, 11:35 Quote
My mate's Dell 1330 was affected by this and crapped out.
Dell sent someone to his work, who promptly ripped the machine open and replaced the hardware and everything was back up and working pretty swiftly.
Good work from Dell but is the gfx card that's now in the machine gonna do the same thing in the future??

nvidia should at least replace the affected machines on request of the owners and be prepared to pay damages to any companies who lost time due to faulty hardware.
SlickGnome 13th May 2009, 13:21 Quote
We sent out a TON of the defunct HP units at the service dept I work at for a big box retailer. Almost every one of them had the mobo replaced by HP without issue, though a few got rejected, though mostly due to the fact that the units were almost destroyed by careless owners.
JyX 13th May 2009, 14:35 Quote
And when was that?
TGImages 13th May 2009, 14:43 Quote
I've had a hand full of Dell laptops at the office here get affected by this. Dell came out and swapped the boards with no problems. As far as I'm concerned that's good enough for me. Now if a a system had caught fire or something... then it would be a different story.
perplekks45 13th May 2009, 14:44 Quote
So, how many laptops are affected? 2-3 million?
What will be the suggested damage payment? £ 50-100?

nVidia are screwed. Period.

Let's do the math:

2,000,000 x £50 = £100,000,000

Ouch!

Even if it's less than that it'll hurt them badly given the financial climate at the moment.
FatMikel 13th May 2009, 15:13 Quote
No judge is going to award such ridiculous claims though.
mirciu 13th May 2009, 15:31 Quote
well i had my HP sent to the repair techs, and they changed everything, mobo, graphics card and cpu, this happened 3 months ago, in belgium...it works like a champ now :D
javaman 13th May 2009, 18:57 Quote
It does seem abit harsh if they are made to replace every affected GPU. It did say in the article that they released a patch that solved the problem. It might not of been the best solution, but it still solved it. The way I see it is, say you got a chip in your car windscreen and someone came and fixed it. Should that person have the right to then complain that they didn't replace the whole windscreen?
HourBeforeDawn 14th May 2009, 07:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
It does seem abit harsh if they are made to replace every affected GPU. It did say in the article that they released a patch that solved the problem. It might not of been the best solution, but it still solved it. The way I see it is, say you got a chip in your car windscreen and someone came and fixed it. Should that person have the right to then complain that they didn't replace the whole windscreen?

no it didnt solve the problem, solving the problem would mean fixing the faulty gpu, what they did was make a bandage that simply drains your battery and increase the loudness of your laptop by well an unbearable amount all to keep the faulty GPU cool enough to a point it would not constantly fail. So no nothing was solved at all as nothing was fixed.
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