Google Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Over Pixel Phone Glitches
Google is facing a class-action lawsuit over defects to its Pixel smartphones. The plaintiffs allege that Google knowingly sold defective Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, which suffered from problems with the microphones that prevented them from being used for calling or voice assistant functionality.
"It promoted the Pixel phones as premium products and priced them from $649 to $869. Yet, immediately after launching the phones, customers complained directly to Google of 'severe microphone issues,'" the two plaintiffs, Patricia Weeks from Florida and Waleed Anbar from California, said in the suit. "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."
Google's support agents acknowledged the defects with the microphone, stating that the issues affected less than 1% of the units sold at the time and that, according to the firm's vice president of product management Brian Rakowski a "hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec" was to blame. The issue created an intermittent fault.
Google urged those with affected Pixel smartphones to claim under warranty or to contact a service provider if out of warranty, including Dixons Carphone Warehouse in the UK and uBreakiFix in the US.
"Instead of fixing the defective Pixel phones, providing refunds, or replacing the devices with non-defective phones, Google has replaced defective phones with other defective phones, resulting in many consumers repeatedly experiencing the microphone defect," the plaintiffs claim.
The Pixel smartphones were released in October 2016 and marked the first time Google had produced a truly own-brand smartphone. It was designed to be a direct challenge to Apple's iPhone complete with premium price and features, and was followed by other Pixel-brand devices, including the Pixel 2 and Pixelbook laptop.
Google declined to comment on the lawsuit.
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Image credit: Product shots by Google; iStock/Artist's concept.