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Apple, HP, Dell laptop owners sue Nvidia

updated 11:40 pm EDT, Mon May 11, 2009

Nvidia sued over graphics

Five owners of Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard laptops have combined their lawsuits against Nvidia in an attempt to make the company replace allegedly flawed processors, according to court documents. The five plaintiffs filed an amended complaint last week in San Francisco federal court that accused Nvidia of violating the consumer-protection laws. According to one plaintiff Todd Feinstein of Louisiana, after purchasing his MacBook in April 2008, the computer ran hot, periodically shut-down without warning and displayed only grey or black at times.

In July of 2008 Nvidia admitted to the problem, claiming some older chipsets that had shipped in "significant quantities" of notebooks were flawed. After arguing that its chip suppliers, the laptop markers and consumers were to blame, Nvidia eventually told the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it would take a $196 million charge to pay for replacing the graphics processors.

Although Apple, Dell and HP also tried to find a solution, Apple by promising to repair any defective MacBook Pro for two years after the purchase date and Dell and HP released an update (designed by Nvidia) to increase fan speed to prevent chip failures, the plaintiffs still claim that this is an improper "remedy" for the problem. The five plaintiffs also believe that the faulty processor can lead to further problems such as degraded battery life, slower system performance, and increased noise. In addition, the fix only ensures that the computer will not fail during the OEM's express warranty period, leaving the longer-term effects to reveal themselves after the warranty.

Currently the lawsuit requests the case be granted class-action status, which could involve millions of laptop computer owners and result in Nvidia having to replace the faulty chips and pay unspecified damages.

via Computerworld




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    What?

    The 'fix' only guarantees that it will work during the warranty period? Well, duh! Any fix will only guarantee it will work through the warranty period. That's what a warranty period is.

    And isn't it the computer manufacturers job to replace the flawed parts? You know Apple won't let anyone touch their computers but their people.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: What?

    Sounds like Apple is the only one who actually agreed to fix the defective laptops, and for a year beyond the warranty period. You might want to take issue with Dell and HP.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    ff1 1

    "for a year beyond the warranty period"? You don't think most people buy apple care?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    about time...

    nVidia knowingly shipped and the manufacturers knowingly installed "weak" hardware components. They rolled the dice... and they lost. Now they should have to pay!

  1. AlenShapiro

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    More to it than that...

    Although there were certainly heat-related issues concerning NVIDIA's chip used in 2008 MacBook Pro, there were other issues that have yet to be properly addressed. Horizontal sparkly flashes when driving external 30" displays and (what appear to be) graphics processor hangs that last up to a minute. The hangs were addressed with a firmware update (they reduced in severity) in the 2008 MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, in the 2009 MacBook Pro, the "sparklies" are still there and the hangs are back in full force. NVIDIA was probably a poor choice of chip for Apple's flagship products.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Luckyday

    Most people? I never have and never intend to. I believe extended warranties are rarely worth it for the consumer, that's precisely why vendors and manufacturers offer them, because they make money.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Extended warranty

    I wouldn't waste money on extended warranties in general, but considering the exorbitant cost to fix a broken Apple computer, esp. a laptop or imac, you're silly not to.

    My 'useless' applecare saved my hide on my iBook (twice, as it wasn't covered by the extended warranty plan, even though it did the same thing), my G5 tower (died 2.75 years into ownership, had to take it back twice for them to get it to work). And with Apple, their quality seems to certainly be slipping from the good ol' days.

    If you were on a PC, most parts are commodity and can be swapped out, included mobo. On a Mac, good luck.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: extended warranty

    meh. The stadnard warranty is good for a year. Most problems reveal themselves earlier than that. I use a credit card that doubles the warranty to 2 years at no cost to me. I never said it was useless, but for me, the 3rd year coverage is not worth the cost.

    BTW, most PC laptop motherboards are just as proprietary as Mac laptop motherboards.

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