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A group of nine European consumer rights groups has launched a joint investigation to see what can be done to protect Nintendo Switch buyers from drifting Joy-Con controllers.
The drifting Joy-Con issue—which causes analogue sticks to register movement even when untouched—has seemingly been a problem since the system launched in March 2017, but it was brought to wider public attention with the filing of a US class-action lawsuit in July 2019.
Since then, Nintendo has been hit with multiple Switch Joy-Con drift lawsuits, which allege that the company is aware of the problem but has chosen to continue selling defective products rather than fix it.
On Monday, the Dutch Consumers’ Association called on Switch owners to report any problems they have experienced with Joy-Con controllers.
It said it was making the call together with fellow consumer organisations in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and the European umbrella organisation BEUC.
French and Belgium consumer organisations have already received close to 1,000 complaints about the Switch’s controller, it claimed.
Consumers ‘Association director Sandra Molenaar said: “We are making the call because we are getting signals that the Switch will not last as long as consumers might expect. In addition, options for repairing the console are limited, forcing consumers to make expensive replacements. We use the responses to determine what further action to take.”
A spokesperson for the Consumers’ Association also told Dutch state broadcaster NOS that by bundling the complaints from users from nine European countries, it hopes to be able to force Nintendo to make a change.
“If we cannot reach a solution in discussions, we will jointly go to court”, they said.
Shortly after the class-action suit was filed last year, Nintendo reportedly stopped charging for repair of drifting Joy-Cons and began refunding those who had already paid for a fix, although it did not acknowledge an actual fault with Switch controllers.
Nintendo’s president then offered the company’s first public Joy-Con drift apology during an investor Q&A in June 2020.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers regarding Joy-Con controllers,” Shuntaro Furukawa said.
“We are continuing to improve our products, but currently Joy-Con is subject to a class-action lawsuit in the United States and is a pending issue so we cannot comment on any specific actions we may take.”
Nintendo is arguing that Switch Joy-Con drift “isn’t a real problem or hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience”, according to US law firm CSK&D, which is working to pursue the case through the arbitration process.