Seagate hit by lawsuit over faulty 3TB hard drives

February 2, 2016 // 11:12 a.m.

Tags: #3tb #backblaze #barracuda #class-action #district-of-california #failure #hagens-berman-and-sheller #hard-drive #lawsuit #seagate #sue

Storage giant Seagate is the target of a proposed class-action lawsuit, filed regarding complaints that the company's 3TB hard drives fail at a rate far above the industry average - sometimes within days of installation.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by law firm Hagens Berman and Sheller, the suit alleges that two models of Seagate hard drives - the Barracuda 3TB internal and Backup Plus 3TB external - were sold under misleading terms, in particular with reference to their projected longevity. 'These particular hard drives were marketed as innovative, fast, powerful, reliable, dependable, and having extremely low failure rates, when in reality, the failure rate of the drives was substantially higher than advertised,' the firm explained in its announcement of the filing, made late last night. 'Consumers report them failing as an unprecedented rate – sometimes even days after their first use.'

This isn't the first time complaints surrounding Seagate's hard drives have surfaced: back in 2014 cloud storage company Backblaze released a hard drive reliability report which pointed to a 10 per cent failure rate for the company's 3TB drives and a 13 per cent failure rate for its 1.5TB drives, more than five times that of the report leader Hitachi. At the time, the report was criticised for being unrepresentative of real-world use: Backblaze purchases consumer-grade drives then installs them in server pods which run them 24-7, an environment better suited to enterprise-grade hardware.

HBS' filing, however, suggests that Backblaze may have had a point in singling out Seagate's reliability issues with the 3TB models. The firm also alleges that the failures even extended to replacement drives provided under warranty, 'leaving Seagate’s warranty promise unfulfilled, and consumers without working hard drives and resulting in the loss of 'tons of data unexpectedly, as Seagate’s hard drives failed to live up to the advertised promises, violating federal consumer laws.'

HBS has requested that the case be given class action status, which would allow for anyone in the US who had purchased either of the two hard drive models to be included in the settlement - though it's typical that the bulk of any cash awarded should the firm win its case is eaten up by legal fees, with class members receiving compensation amounting to a fraction of the original purchase cost.

Details of the case are available on the official website.
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