Nvidia Sued by Laptop Owners Over Faulty Chips

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.