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What just happened? It's been a good week for Samsung. The company led the charge in a rebounding phone industry, snatching back the "world's largest smartphone maker" from rival Apple. But there was some bad news in the form of a lawsuit that alleges it used defective or poor-quality glass coverings for the Galaxy S20 series' camera module.
Back in April last year, there were reports of Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra owners discovering the phone's rear camera glass was shattering randomly. All insisted that they hadn't dropped the handset, and that the glass broke spontaneously on its own.
It seems the problem affected other phones in the Galaxy S20 series. XDA reports that law firm Hagens Berman is launching a class action against Samsung, accusing it of fraud, breach of warranty, and violations of several consumer-protection laws.
"Samsung sold its Galaxy S20 as a high-end option for consumers, with a 'professional' grade camera, charging upwards of $1,600 per device, only to have them suddenly lose a major aspect of their functionality. During a time of social-distancing and increased use of online access, consumers are especially in need of a reliable mobile device, yet Samsung has refused to deliver the reliability it promised its customers," said Steve Berman, attorney for consumers in the class action.
As reported at the time of the original incidents, Samsung classed them as cosmetic damage, meaning it wasn't covered under standard warranties. Anyone wanting to repair the glass had to hand over $400, or $100 if they'd signed up to Samsung's Premium Care plan.
It's unclear how widespread the issue is, but the lawsuit claims there are "hundreds of online reports." A Samsung Care Ambassador acknowledged the problems, claiming it resulted from "pressure buildup underneath the glass and not customers banging it against something," though the company continued charging owners for repairs.
If you've been affected by the problem, you can join the lawsuit by filling out this form.