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Now a boy and his mother have filed a $5m Joy-Con drift lawsuit
Legal pressure grows over ‘defective’ Nintendo Switch controllers
A mother and child have launched the latest of several lawsuits aimed at ‘drifting’ Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers.
The class-action lawsuit, which was filed by Luz Sanchez and her 9 or 10-year-old son in California, USA, is seeking $5 million in damages from Nintendo after two sets of Joy-Con controllers they purchased allegedly suffered from drifting.
In one case the problem was “so pronounced that the controllers became inoperable for general gameplay use”, the complaint reads (via Wired).
The suit claims that Nintendo “continues to market and sell the Products with full knowledge of the defect and without disclosing the Joy-Con Drift defect to consumers in its marketing, promotion, or packaging”.
The drifting Joy-Con issue—which causes analogue sticks to register movement even when untouched—was brought to wider public attention with the filing of another class-action lawsuit in July 2019.
In March of this year, US District Judge Thomas S. Zilly approved Nintendo’s move to compel the case to arbitration, but also rejected the platform holder’s bid to dismiss it.
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.
It is currently asking consumers who have contacted it about Joy-Con drift problems to supply it with short videos outlining the issues they’ve experienced, how Nintendo dealt with their complaints, and whether it has affected their confidence in the company’s products.
CSK&D has requested that videos are submitted by October 16 and said it intends to share them with Nintendo’s attorneys and the company’s representatives.
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.
However, Nintendo’s president 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 was hit with another Joy-Con drift lawsuit in September, which accuses the company of planned obsolescence – a policy of producing goods designed to break so that they need to be replaced.
The lawsuit was filed in Paris by French non-profit consumer organisation UFC-Que Choisir, which said it was acting in a bid to get Nintendo to change the way Joy-Cons are manufactured.
Having requested expert analysis, UFC-Que Choisir said it identified two flaws that could be behind the problem: early wear and tear of the electronic circuits and an airtightness defect which enables fragments and dust to get inside the controller.
It also claims Nintendo recently modified the way Joy-Con controllers are created but failed to fix the problem.