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Nvidia Sued by Laptop Owners Over Faulty Chips

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

Apple, Dell, and HP laptop owners are tag-teaming Nvidia with a combined lawsuit stemming from issues with faulty GPUs

While Nvidia’s technology may have moved on from the GeForce G84 and G86 fiasco, owners of that chip certainly haven’t.

In fact, five laptop owners who have the older, faulty GeForce hardware are now banding together to sue Nvidia, reported ComputerWorld.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs are seeking from Nvidia full replacement of the faulty chips and to pay unspecified damages.

Rather than recall faulty notebooks, manufacturers of laptops affected have gone through certain steps to help cover the problem. Apple promised owners of the GeForce 8600M GT-equipped that it would repair for free any faulty GPUs within two years of purchase date, regardless of extended Apple Care coverage.

Other notebook makers such as HP and Dell also extended warranties and released new BIOS software that increased the fan speed to better cool the GPU – hopefully warding off any defects from showing up.

Such measures were unsatisfactory for many, especially the five who are now suing Nvidia.

"This is a grossly inadequate 'remedy,' as it results in additional manifest defects, including, without limitation, further degraded battery life, system performance and increased noise in the Class Computers," the legal complaint read.

"Worse, this 'remedy' fails to solve the actual problem. Instead, this measure only ensures that the Class Computers will fail after the OEM's express warranty period expires, potentially leaving consumers with a defective computer and no immediate recourse," the lawsuit continued. "Finally, even after this purported 'update,' video and system performance is still degraded due to unacceptably high heat and part failures.

The plaintiffs are spread out in Louisiana, California, Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico. Although among them are only laptops made by Apple, Dell and HP, if such a suit were to hold any water and move to class action status, it could be spread owners of other notebook makes. Stay tuned.

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  • -1 Hide
    Tindytim , May 13, 2009 6:17 PM
    And the Apple tax just gets higher and higher.
  • 5 Hide
    chripuck , May 13, 2009 6:17 PM
    I had the most problems on my Sony Vaio with the 8400m GT chipset.
  • 0 Hide
    dman3k , May 13, 2009 6:29 PM
    Apple has problems?? OMG OMG! Has hell frozen over??

    Let me call Master Steve Jobs to make sure.
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    Tedders , May 13, 2009 6:31 PM
    Uh, Guys, Dell and HP have the same issues. Not Apple's fault.
  • 5 Hide
    megamanx00 , May 13, 2009 6:38 PM
    Hah, funny

    Oh well that's what happens. The problem is so bad there are people on ebay just specializing in replacing and repairing the affected HP laptop motherboards. You see some of the boards repaired and resold, which isn't bad since you can pick up a system that just needs one of those new boards pretty cheap. Of course then there is the pain of taking it appart ^_^, but that's what I did to build my cheap DV6000 latop.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 13, 2009 6:45 PM
    My Asus G1S laptop died two weeks ago. I did some video editing, put it to sleep, and when i came back, nothing. My 8600gt is dead and to replace it out of warranty would be "A couple hundred dollars" as quoted from tech support. I just want them to replace a faulty and recalled card that they knew would burn out. We need a class action lawsuit, this looks to be just 5 people.
  • -4 Hide
    Tindytim , May 13, 2009 6:48 PM
    TeddersUh, Guys, Dell and HP have the same issues. Not Apple's fault.

    So it's Microsoft's fault Nvidia wrote crappy drivers for Vista that caused quite a few issues, but Apple making a bad hardware choice isn't there fault?

  • 0 Hide
    kyeana , May 13, 2009 7:05 PM
    Here we go again!
  • 4 Hide
    ill b ben , May 13, 2009 8:12 PM
    ahh.... my good old 8600m gs... wich stoped working after 1.5 year or so.. good thing i write a lot of e-mails wich made me get a brand new!!.. crappy motherboard with the same 8600m gs again so again its a matter of time.. Ans yeah it is nvidia fault since they decide what the materials are for the gpu it self. not to forget my 8600 gts wich also stoped working after the same period of time.. i learnd my lessons back to ati
  • -4 Hide
    war2k9 , May 13, 2009 8:13 PM
    It is good to know some people in this site are blind (FANBOYS).
  • 1 Hide
    ill b ben , May 13, 2009 8:31 PM
    no not rly actually, far from it i would still recommend nvidia over ati if it has the more bang for buck. But the trouble wich came along with getting a 'fix' for my laptop was a pain alone but when my pc went down along i.. well lets say i was rather pissd since i used em both for CAD work and some 3d work (student) and since i had no spair gpu i was screwed for a month or so. All in all it worked out eventually.. but yeh i my self wouldnt buy a nvidia chipset based on those cores anymore.
  • 2 Hide
    norbs , May 13, 2009 9:10 PM
    So is the first thing you guys do is look for anything in reference to apple and then post?
  • 2 Hide
    tbq , May 13, 2009 10:32 PM
    How does this become a class action suit? And how do we sign on if that happens?
  • 2 Hide
    Tindytim , May 13, 2009 10:48 PM
    norbsSo is the first thing you guys do is look for anything in reference to apple and then post?

    Actually I look for any reference of Monkey Island 5 then post.
  • -1 Hide
    kyeana , May 13, 2009 10:57 PM
  • 1 Hide
    matt87_50 , May 13, 2009 11:51 PM
    give em one for me and my dell m1330! i can't believe they weren't forced to recall or even FIX THE PROBLEM for subsequent releases of the chips.
    just because it doesn't break in the short term, they thought they could get away with it. temperature sensitive chips just wont cut it, ESPECIALLY in a laptop! FU nvidia. enough to convert me to ati just to spite you (though i've always liked ati)
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , May 14, 2009 1:06 AM
    heh 8400's and 8600's arnt the only bad chip series we have seen at our shop fronts

    i say f**k nvidia - im not buying there products for a while yet cause i aint trust them, ATi for me next time me thinks
  • 1 Hide
    lire210 , May 14, 2009 1:39 AM
    chripuckI had the most problems on my Sony Vaio with the 8400m GT chipset.

    i wouldn't touch vaio with a 10000000000 foot pole unless it was free because they cost alot for ok hardware just a step bellow a mac ick.
  • 2 Hide
    kato128 , May 14, 2009 3:06 AM
    This is one reason why I never buy a laptop for performance video. Its much easier to replace a pcie card than a faulty mainboard chipset.
  • 2 Hide
    Zoonie , May 14, 2009 12:09 PM
    One word - finally!
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