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The changes apply retroactively to all Xbox Elite Series 2 controllers shipped since its November 2019 release, and payments made for repairs outside the previous warranty will be refunded.
“We’ve received claims that a small percentage of our customers are experiencing mechanical issues when using their Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2,” Microsoft stated. “To ensure your satisfaction, we’re extending the warranty coverage period on Elite Series 2 controllers from 90 days to 1 year from the date of purchase.”
The change comes less than two weeks after a class-action lawsuit over ‘drifting’ Xbox controllers was amended to include the most recent Elite controller, although there’s no evidence this drove the warranty extension.
Filed on October 2 in the Western District of Washington, the lawsuit alleges that drifting – the issue which leads to controller movements being registered even when the analogue sticks are left untouched – had been experienced by a large volume of Xbox owners across various controller models.
The class-action claims that the drifting issue is caused by a controller defect related to the potentiometer within the joystick component—the mechanism that translates the physical movement of the thumbstick into movement within software.
Along with monetary relief, the plaintiffs are seeking a public injunction requiring Microsoft to notify all Xbox controller owners about the defect.
“Microsoft lures consumers into purchasing the Xbox controllers by touting [them] as superior controllers that enhance gameplay, describing the Elite controllers as the ‘world’s most advanced controller’ and emphasizing the Xbox one joysticks and buttons as possessing ‘Ultimate Precision.’,” the complaint reads.
“Microsoft does not disclose to consumers that the Xbox controllers are defective, causing the joystick component to fail. Members of the general public have the right to know the latent defects with the Xbox controller components.
A similar class action was filed against Nintendo last year concerning drifting Switch Joy-Con controllers. Last month a judge approved Nintendo’s move to compel arbitration but denied a request to dismiss.
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.