February 19, 2019

Google faces class action lawsuit over new Pixel smartphone

10 February 2018, 06:20 | Cameron Gross

Enlarge The Google Pixel and Pixel XLRon Amadeo

Enlarge  The Google Pixel and Pixel XLRon Amadeo

As great as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are, the phones aren't immune to issues. The suit alleges that Google failed to properly disclose the Pixel's defective microphone, while also improperly responding to warranty claims by replacing defective units with new or refurbished phones that also had defective microphones.

Plaintiffs say that the handsets - released back in 2016 - had serious issues with the microphones, which meant the phones couldn't be used for calling, or for voice assistant functionality. Further, it argues that "Despite receiving hundreds of complaints shortly after launch-and admitting the phones have a "faulty microphone"-Google continues to sell the Pixel phones without telling purchasers about the microphone defect".

In Weeks' case, the lawsuit claims that after notifying Google support staff of her issues with the microphone, Google acknowledged that Weeks' device was defective but refused to refund her money or replace her device with a non-defective unit, even though she was still under warranty. Consider the newest February Android security patch from the company for example which was first announced by Google in a monthly Android Security Bulletin post on February 5.

Google is said to have blamed a "hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec". The search giant also said that only 1% of its Pixel devices sold were affected with this hardware problem. The sale covers its Home range, and includes an offer on cases for its Pixel 2 devices, though the handsets themselves haven't been discounted.

The legal papers filed place the blame squarely on Google for having "designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold the Pixel phones".

In response to Pixel 2 complaints, Google extended customers' standard warranties to two years but this does not apply to original Pixel owners. Ars Technica made the complaint publicly accessible over on DocumentCloud, and notes that both of these plaintiffs purchased Pixel devices in 2016, only to encounter defective microphones a few months later.

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