Five laptop users sue Nvidia over chip failures


— 3:58 PM on May 12, 2009

Failing Nvidia GPUs and chipsets made many headlines last year, and they also affected a number of laptop users—Nvidia says very few, others talk of more. As ComputerWorld reports, five of those users have filed a joint lawsuit against Nvidia, accusing the company of "violating consumer-protection laws."

The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for their suit, and they want Nvidia to pay "unspecified damages" as well as replace the faulty chips. If the plaintiffs get their way, anyone affected by the failures (in the U.S., at least) could request damages and replacement hardware without suing Nvidia individually.

Interestingly, the plaintiffs have HP, Dell, and Apple laptops, so they weren't quite left out in the cold when the failures broke out. All three PC vendors provided extended support to affected notebooks, and both HP and Dell released firmware that kicked up fan speeds to prevent overheating. However, the plaintiffs found those measures insufficient.

According to ComputerWorld, the complaint says raising fan speeds is a "grossly inadequate 'remedy,' as it results in additional manifest defects, including, without limitation, further degraded battery life, system performance and increased noise." Also, the measure "only ensures that the [systems] will fail after the OEM's express warranty period expires, potentially leaving consumers with a defective computer and no immediate recourse."

   
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