RTX 4090 Owner Hits Nvidia With Lawsuit Over Melting 16-pin Connector

Nvidia 16-pin power adapter
Nvidia 16-pin power adapter (Image credit: reggie_gakil/Reddit)

At least one GeForce RTX 4090 owner has taken their fight with Nvidia to the courtroom. According to Justia (opens in new tab), Lucas Genova recently filed a class action lawsuit against Nvidia over the 16-pin power adapter meltdown disaster. The lawsuit states that Genova is suing Nvidia for unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, fraud, and violations of New York’s General Business Law.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a California federal court on Nov. 11, alleges that Nvidia "marketed and sold the RTX 4090 with a defective and dangerous power cable plug and socket, which has rendered consumers' cards inoperable and poses a serious electrical and fire hazard for each and every purchaser." Genova seemingly brings the class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and all purchasers of the GeForce RTX 4090, one of the best graphics cards on the market.

The complaint narrates that the plaintiff purchased a GeForce RTX 4090 from Best Buy for $1,599.99. He is reportedly "experienced in the installation of computer componentry like graphics cards" and installed the graphics card following best practices. After installation, Genova eventually discovered that his 16-pin power adapter had melted. 

The lawsuit says that "thus, Plaintiff and class members have been hit with a costly double-whammy: a premium purchase price (the MSRP is $1,599) for a dangerous product that should not have been sold in its current state."

The document references user feedback and photographs documented in the dedicated 16-pin adapter thread on Reddit (opens in new tab). At the time of writing, 26 GeForce RTX 4090 owners have come forward, sharing similar experiences with the 16-pin power adapter melting and sometimes damaging the 16-pin power connector on the graphics card.

Nvidia is still investigating the problem with the 16-pin power adapter. The chipmaker recently came forward saying that it didn't have any further details to share with the public. Nonetheless, Nvidia and its AIB partners have committed to providing expedited RMAs for affected owners.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Amdlova
    Finally some one with sense, good luck with that lawsuit, nvidia need a ban on this connector
    Reply
  • A Stoner
    These components should have a very wide safety margin in their design and manufacture for both manufacturing differences as well as normal usage wear and tear. The fact that these are designed to only be marginally effective at moving electricity should give this lawsuit legs.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Yeah, good luck to them, if the recently released analysis by GN is anything to go by.
    The connectors work if plugged in properly. Big emphasis on properly, because it must not be easy to do.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    $1600 graphics card, 16 pin connector ... a 16 or 160 page lawsuit would be so poetic!
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Phaaze88 said:
    Yeah, good luck to them, if the recently released analysis by GN is anything to go by.
    Yup, good luck to them if their connectors looks like they were 2-3mm short of being fully seated like GN's samples which had pretty clear demarcation lines telling how deep they were inserted at the time of softening/melting.
    Reply
  • Gam3r01
    Wouldnt be surprised if someone went and bought the card, purposefully installed the connector wrong, and created their grounds to sue.
    Reply
  • GasLighterHavoc
    Gam3r01 said:
    Wouldnt be surprised if someone went and bought the card, purposefully installed the connector wrong, and created their grounds to sue.
    After watching GN's video on the replication of the melting connector, it is clear that the connector is fundamentally an unsafe design from an engineering point of view. If any form of non-perfect user behavior can lead to melting components and potential fires, that is an unacceptable product design.

    At this point, the lawsuit is in the public interest so I wish the plaintiff the best of luck.
    Reply
  • PlaneInTheSky
    Nvidia has only themselves to blame for the bad press this might cause.

    When your product is a clear fire hazard, you immediately stop sales and do a recall. You don't wait and pretend everything is fine when cables are going up in smoke.
    Reply
  • blacknemesist
    InvalidError said:
    Yup, good luck to them if their connectors looks like they were 2-3mm short of being fully seated like GN's samples which had pretty clear demarcation lines telling how deep they were inserted at the time of softening/melting.
    Does not matter, the connector needs to be idiot proof as it deals with electricity and possible fire hazard and dangerous overall, you plug it in until it locks in place, if it has issues with being bent those are not even on the manual of the card so they can't hide behind that and if they did not sit 100% it still is an adapter issue.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    nVidia is gonna settle this one ASAP, the words "consumer" and "potential fire hazard" don't go over very well in the USA. For those thinking "buhh buhhh buut they didn't plug it in right!10101", it wouldn't matter either way. There is a reason safety labels are mandatory in the USA on consumer products. Look at every soap bottle and see the label "not for human consumption", it's there because someone could drink it, get sick and successfully sue the soap company for selling a product that makes people sick.

    Need I remind people about this one.

    Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants
    Exact same legal theory of harm from selling a potentially dangerous product. McDonalds now puts a warning label on it's coffee and those handing the coffee to the user must also give a verbal warning that the coffee is hot.
    Reply