Report: Lenovo Blames USB-C Issues on Thunderbolt Firmware

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Lenovo said that USB-C issues affecting some of its ThinkPad notebooks were caused by problems with Thunderbolt firmware, according to Notebookcheck, which reported Saturday that Lenovo first identified the problem in August 2019.

The report was part of Notebookcheck's recent investigation into Thunderbolt controller failures in recent ThinkPad models. The outlet said that some models, such as the ThinkPad T470 or T480, experienced these problems after they "ran fine for years." Now it seems that's because of Thunderbolt firmware released in 2019.

Other members of the ThinkPad lineup--Notebookcheck called out the X1 Extreme and ThinkPad P1--didn't experience these Thunderbolt controller failures because they relied on different firmware. (Which is good news for people who purchased those models, but is probably a mite frustrating to other ThinkPad customers.)

Notebookcheck said Lenovo provided the following statement:

"Lenovo identified and provided a fix for this issue in August 2019, since when the patch has been pushed through Lenovo Vantage to affected users. While we believe that the impact of this will be minimal, should customers experience difficulties, they should contact Lenovo Technical Support who will be glad to help."

It's not clear if that offer of assistance was also extended to ThinkPad owners whose notebooks are out-of-warranty. Anyone whose ThinkPad recently started to have problems with Thunderbolt and USB-C connectivity should check Lenovo Vantage for the new firmware and reach out to Lenovo for more information about its response.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.