Microsoft controller drift lawsuit adds Xbox Elite controllers to the class action

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,576   +591
Staff member
In context: If you have ever experienced joystick drift, you know how annoying it can be. Joystick drift is when a controller registers input from the joystick even when it is in the neutral position. Sometimes users can fix it by recalibrating the joystick. However, if a defective mechanism if the cause, repair is often the only solution, which becomes problematic in out-of-warranty situations.

Nintendo is not alone in dealing with legal troubles related to joystick drift in its JoyCons. In April, Microsoft was served a class-action lawsuit over a similar issue with Xbox One controllers. Now plaintiffs have added the Xbox Elite Series 2 to the lawsuit. The amendment alleges that the controllers suffer from drift caused by faulty potentiometers.

Video Games Chronicle notes, "This component contains a known design flaw related to a grease-like lubricant, which causes resistive material scraped off a curved track to cause unwanted movement without input from the user."

The suit claims that Microsoft was well aware of the faulty mechanism, but never attempted to notify customers of the defect. It also claims that the company has refused to take responsibility and repair the malfunctioning controllers free of charge. Lawyers contend that the 90-day warranty should not apply to known defects.

"[The defendant] failed to disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the controllers without charge when the defect manifests," the complaint reads. "A large volume of consumers have been complaining about stick drift on Xbox One controllers since at least 2014."

Class representative Donald McFadden claims that he purchased an Xbox Elite controller for $179.99 and that the joystick started to drift after three or four months. He then bought a second controller, only to experience the same problem after a similar amount of time.

Microsoft has not commented on the lawsuit, but as these things go, it might take a page out of Nintendo's playbook and start offering to fix the faulty controllers for free.

Nintendo began repairing its defective JoyCons two days after being served the first class action in July 2019. Since then, the lawsuit was amended to add Nintendo Switch Lites, and a second class action was more recently filed.

Image credit: yudhiagust

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redhat

Posts: 112   +107
"if a defective mechanism //if// the cause" you mean //is// I think?
there are many companies accused of making products fail after warranty expires like Apple, Samsung etc... the solution is to punish them all at same time but alas money rules
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 120   +86
Probably 2 years here in NZ - it's kind of vague - but related to cost and expected life - so a whiteware might be 5 years and a $1 toy 1 day .

It's one of the reasons products are cheaper in the USA- also some imported USA products have some bells and whistles removed for patent reasons
 
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arrowflash

Posts: 193   +162
I'm surprised that to this day, there hasn't been a similar class-action lawsuit against Logitech for the microswitches on their gaming mice, that always start malfunctioning without fail after 4 to 8 months of use (causing double-clicking at single button press and drag-and-drop failure issues).
 
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arrowflash

Posts: 193   +162
A few months ago, the left analog stick in my DS4 controller started having random epileptic seizures. The problem was oxidation and rust buildup in the tiny part shown in the 4th and 5th pictures. Cleaned it, scrubbed a bit of sandpaper and sprayed contact cleaner, finishing with a spray of WD40 for lubrication. After reassembly the analog stick was working like new. My DS4 is 4 years old though.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 966   +598
These company should put money where their mouth is, specially if they claim to be green. They should offer long warranties and full proper recycling for e-waste.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,060   +851
I'm surprised that to this day, there hasn't been a similar class-action lawsuit against Logitech for the microswitches on their gaming mice, that always start malfunctioning without fail after 4 to 8 months of use (causing double-clicking at single button press and drag-and-drop failure issues).
Guess I'm lucky with mine, haven't had one have this issue.

My friend who tried my mouse and fell in love ran out and bought one, his has this issue and likely within the 8 months you mention.

My Xbone controller doesn't suffer from joystick drift, but the rest of it is pretty terrible, the force feedback rattles, the face buttons are unresponsive and sometimes it just refuses to connect to anything and needs to be re-paired to resume function. Oh and when put on a flat surface like a glass table the thing is warped and won't sit flat rocking slightly. I only use it for certain PC games so it's not like it's a daily driver either.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 193   +162
Guess I'm lucky with mine, haven't had one have this issue.

My friend who tried my mouse and fell in love ran out and bought one, his has this issue and likely within the 8 months you mention.
You were probably lucky...

Out of 5 Logitech gaming mice I purchased in the last 10 years, 4 had this issue within the time frame cited. The exception being the first and oldest one, an old MX 518, which I still own and still works like new - which leads me to think Logitech started skimping on component quality over the course of this decade.

In my experience, the issue seems to affect only gaming mice - I've never witnessed said problems with non-gaming models, including cheap disposable models like the M100 and M110. I'd attribute this to the fact that makers of gaming hardware can get away with almost anything, since gamers are an extremely tolerant and sheepish bunch as consumers.
 

Tuxie

Posts: 32   +13
I've never had a problem with drift, but 2 out of 2 XBox One controllers I've had (one for the PC and one for an actual XBox One X console) started to get unresponsive A-buttons within 6 months. They still work, I just have to press it a bit harder than the other buttons to make it register. Never had such problems with Playstation controllers, they only die because their internal batteries die. I did have one GameCube controller with an A button I had to press extra hard on after a couple of years, though.
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,867   +1,757
You were probably lucky...

Out of 5 Logitech gaming mice I purchased in the last 10 years, 4 had this issue within the time frame cited. The exception being the first and oldest one, an old MX 518, which I still own and still works like new - which leads me to think Logitech started skimping on component quality over the course of this decade.

In my experience, the issue seems to affect only gaming mice - I've never witnessed said problems with non-gaming models, including cheap disposable models like the M100 and M110. I'd attribute this to the fact that makers of gaming hardware can get away with almost anything, since gamers are an extremely tolerant and sheepish bunch as consumers.
Sorry hold on, you've had mouse drift? MOUSE drift issues? You're not talking about controller's?
 

arrowflash

Posts: 193   +162
Sorry hold on, you've had mouse drift? MOUSE drift issues? You're not talking about controller's?
Please try reading my first comment in this article again.

If you still don't get it, well to be polite I'd say you have more pressing problems to worry about... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,867   +1,757
Please try reading my first comment in this article again.

If you still don't get it, well to be polite I'd say you have more pressing problems to worry about... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I was on the tube at the time and your last comments hadn't loaded.