Nvidia faces down lawsuit from laptop owners

By Justin Mann on May 12, 2009, 6:53 PM
Throughout 2008 there were numerous reports involving Nvidia and faulty graphics chips, primarily present among mobile GPUs. After arguing that its chip suppliers, laptop markers and even consumers were to blame, the company eventually admitted to the problem and said it would take a $196 million charge to cover the cost of replacing “significant quantities” of failing graphics processors. Some affected users have found this insufficient, though, and are filing a joint lawsuit against Nvidia accusing them of “violating consumer-protection laws.”

The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status and want the graphics firm to pay “unspecified damages” as well as replace the faulty chips. Interestingly, those behind the lawsuit all had an HP, Dell, or Apple laptop, which means that they weren't completely left out in the cold when the failures broke out. All three vendors offered extended support to affected notebooks, and both HP and Dell released a firmware update designed to prevent graphics chips from overheating by increasing fan speeds.

Without mentioning why they didn’t exercise their right to return defective hardware at that time, the plaintiffs found those measures a “grossly inadequate remedy,” as it results in the degradation of battery life and system performance as well as increased noise. In addition, they claim the fix only ensures that the computer will fail after the OEM's warranty period expires, potentially leaving consumers with nothing but a defective computer.




User Comments: 4

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Wendig0 said:
People are ******. Let me try to put this into perspective. Nvidia chips fail. Nvidia offers to make it right. People say "Screw it, we're gonna sue you anyway". Laptop manufacturers join in to help make bitchy customers happy. Customers stomp their feet and throw a tantrum over 2-3 decibels difference in fan noise.Something tells me that this isn't Nvidia's problem, yet it is most likely the poor design of the laptop enabling the temperatures to reach high levels.
ziggy99 said:
HP laptop owners, please log your Nvidia Defect affected laptop into the database at hplies.com. The affected laptops are those with Nvidia series 5000, 6000, 7000 and 8000 Graphics Processor Units and that have already failed with streaky or blank displays. Those folks with affected laptops that have not yet failed and are within the manufacture's one year warranty are encourged to buy extended warranties.
JDoors said:
Regardless of the merits of the lawsuits, people are gonna get crap from a class action lawsuit. A coupon maybe. There'll be plenty of money for the lawyers though.
eafshar said:
i got this problem with my dell laptop.. i had a g8400 nvidia graphic card. my 1 year warranty had just expired 2 month before my laptop gpu failed. so i gave dell a call.. explained the situation.. had to bring to the guys attention the situation.. which surprisingly he was not aware of (showed the guy blog posts in dell customer relation website that warranties have been extended for defects related this this chip failure). he then agreed that they have to replaced the board and had to send my laptop to dell. beside the initial communication problem with their staff.. it was a smooth ride.. got my laptop back in 5 days.. which was impressive.. the new bios update tho is annoying as it turns off the laptop much too early when it gets hot. it has made gaming on it a big pain.
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