Nintendo Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over Switch Joy-Con Drifting Issue

Published: July 23, 2019 10:00 AM /


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For some time now, Nintendo Switch users have been complaining of their Joy-Con controllers "drifting" (analog sticks moving when not in use). The problem isn't going away, as law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Japanese gaming giant.

The lawsuit claims that Nintendo is "aware of the defect" thanks to online consumer complaints and its own pre-release testing. Despite this awareness, Nintendo "fails to disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the joysticks without charge" when drift starts happening. CSK&D says the complaint brings claims "under various consumer protection statutes" as well as warranty and common law claims. You can view the full class-action lawsuit here (be warned, there's a fair bit of legalese in there). If you'd like to join the legislation, you can submit your own grievance to CSK&D over on the firm's website.

This won't be good news for Nintendo. The company is gearing up to release its new Switch Lite console in September. In addition, Nintendo has just introduced a new Switch baseline model with improved battery life. If Joy-Con drift is so bad that consumers are bringing legal action against Nintendo, that won't look good for sales of new consoles. There are plenty of home-grown tutorials out there for fixing Joy-Con drift, but they don't work consistently. According to Kotaku, Nintendo itself is simply referring customers to its troubleshooting page. You can set up a Joy-Con repair there if you need to. Of course, that won't guarantee a fix for the problem. Some users have complained of Joy-Cons drifting a few months after repair or even immediately after.

Speaking to Polygon, CSK&D associate attorney Andrew Ferich said over 5,500 consumers had contacted the firm about Joy-Con drift. Ferich says it's "too early" to know what a win in the class-action suit would look like, but that the firm will "pursue this litigation aggressively" to get the best outcome. We'll have to wait and see what will happen here. Stay tuned for more news on this.

Have you experienced Joy-Con drift? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for several years, and in those years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph