Google Agrees to Pixel Class Action Settlement

Posted on May 14, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 9 Comments

Has the Pixel Really Moved the Needle on Google Hardware? (Premium)

Google has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit that accused it of knowingly selling defective Pixel handsets to customers. If approved, the settlement will pay Pixel buyers up to $500 for a total cost to the company of $7.25 million.

To be clear, this settlement applies only to the original-generation (2017) Pixel and Pixel XL. Apparently Google sold some of these handsets with a manufacturing error that resulted in a “hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec,” resulting in spotty audio performance, including during phone calls.

Google replaced numerous first-generation Pixels under warranty for this issue, but in some cases, it replaced a buggy handset with another that had the same issue. It has also admitted to secretly fixing the issue mid-way through the initial Pixel’s lifecycle.

Those users who replaced their Pixel and received another bad unit will be the big winners here, and will receive $500 as part of this settlement. Those who returned a bad Pixel and received a working unit will receive $350. But anyone who purchased the first-generation Pixel is entitled to $20. (Those who paid an insurance deductible as part  of a Pixel replacement will receive the full value of that cost.)

Those wondering about Google’s hardware reliability issues over the years are right to question whether further class action lawsuits are coming. As it turns out, Google recently settled a case with owners of the Nexus 6P, the handset the preceded the original Pixel. And given the reliability issues with the Pixel 2 XL and 3 XL, I suspect there will be further settlements down the road as well.

Those waiting on refunds will need to sign-up, but that can’t happen until the settlement is approved in June. I’ll report back when I know more.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Google Agrees to Pixel Class Action Settlement”

  1. Omega Ra

    Well, good news for me. I had a Pixel a bad replacement, sent it back got ANOTHER bad replacement, then a third and just got a refund...wonder if I can still get that $500?

  2. glenn8878

    I wish I got a refund for iPhone 6 for battery bug.

  3. skane2600

    Whenever a class action settlement goes beyond discount coupons, it's a win for customers.

  4. dontbe evil

    they're scared :)

  5. compunut

    I had multiple Nexus 5x phones boot loop, but no payday for me. Darn.

    Seriously, though. Google needs to do something about their reliability. Like Microsoft, really (think early Surface, XBox 360, etc).

    And while I am on my soap box... my wife just had to replace her Pixel 2 due to battery life issues. Why can't they send just a battery? Oh, because they glue the darn things together. Grrr.

    OK... done ranting.

  6. innovativethrills

    I can't understand what is the problem in this comment section. I can't write a big comment here.

  7. kdjones74

    We had three Nexus 5X phones and all three boot looped. It was after the warranty expired, so we bought new phones. Later, I discovered that Google and LG (makers of the 5X) had extended the warranty so I got all three replaced.