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Nintendo to face class action lawsuit for Joy-Con defect

Joy Con Controller

A defect with the Joy-Con controllers of the original Nintendo Switch model has led to the preparation of a class action lawsuit against Nintendo of America.

An issue with Joy Con controllers for the Nintendo Switch is causing many games to be rendered unplayable. Known as ‘drifting’, the issue is centred around the Joy Con analogue sticks, which are often used to control motion. When ‘drifting’ occurs, it registers movement in a game regardless of whether the player is using the analogue sticks at that time. While not a problem for all games, the issue is acutely felt in titles that rely on analogue sticks, such as first person shooter titles, and games with driving.

A lawsuit is being prepared against Nintendo of America over the ‘drifting’ issue by Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D), a law firm. The firm is calling on owners of Nintendo Switch consoles in the US to join the lawsuit, and force Nintendo to correct the issue.

Ryan Davis, plaintiff of the case, said that after 11 months he found that ‘drifting’ became an issue with his Nintendo Switch. Davis purchases a console in July 2017, and discovered that ‘drifting’ was a serious issue with his left Joy Con in particular.

Davis experienced further issues with Joy Con controllers three months after having them sent to Nintendo for repair under one year warranty. He also found that ‘drifting’ occurred in a separate set of Joy Cons he had purchased after 13 months of use.

Ryan Davis’ story is one of a number which are quoted in the full complaint against Nintendo. Unfortunately the company has yet to offer a solution to the issue of ‘drifting’, which seems to be far more widespread than initially thought.

According to CSK&D Nintendo has failed to disclose the issue that causes the defect in Joy Cons. Furthermore, the company regularly refuses to offer to repair the defect without a charge, despite the fact that the defect has never been disclosed to consumers. CSK&D described Nintendo’s behavior regarding the ‘drifting’ situation as unfair, deceptive, and/or fraudulent.

The lawsuit aims to redress Nintendo’s violations of fraud statutes in California, their negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and their breach of warranty.

Davis seeks declaratory relief, meaning that Nintendo must explain the defect and what rights Switch owners have when it occurs, as well as monetary relief. The lawsuit itself demands a trial by jury.

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