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Nintendo’s president has issued the company’s first public apology for Switch’s drifting Joy-Con issue.
Speaking in a Japanese investor Q&A this month (translated by VGC), Shuntaro Furukawa apologised for “any inconvenience caused” to those experiencing the controller issue.
However, the president claimed he could not comment further on “any specific actions we may take” due to an ongoing class-action lawsuit in the US.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers regarding Joy-Con controllers,” he 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.”
The drifting Joy-Con issue – which causes controllers’ analog sticks to register movement even when untouched – was brought to wider public attention with the filing of a class-action lawsuit last year.
Filed in Seattle, Washington in July 2019, the suit alleges Nintendo was fully aware of a defect which causes Joy-Cons to drift, causing unintended movement
In the class action, plaintiff Ryan Diaz claims he sent a faulty Joy-Con to Nintendo for repair under the one-year warranty, only to experience drifting again a few months later.
The suit claims Diaz’s experiences are “by no means isolated” and that “the internet is replete with examples of message boards and other websites where consumers have complained of the exact same Joy-Con defect.”
Shortly after the suit was filed, 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.
The Joy-Con lawsuit was amended in September 2019 to include the Switch Lite, and in March of this year a US District Judge Thomas S. Zilly approved Nintendo’s move to compel arbitration, but also rejected the platform holder’s bid to dismiss the case.
Instead, Zilly opted to pause the proposed class action pending the outcome of the arbitration.
To date, Nintendo’s only public communication on drifting Joy-Cons has been a July 2019 statement in which it said:
“We take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them. We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly.
According to a 2019 Vice report, internal documents were issued to Nintendo’s customer service representatives following the lawsuit filing which did not acknowledge an actual fault with Joy-Cons, but did state it was aware of “recent reports” on the issue.
“We want to quickly handle these questions to restore consumers smiles,” the documentation reportedly said.