EU group calls for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift investigation

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) is calling on the European Commission to investigate Nintendo Joy-Con drift complaints. The BEUC group represents more than 40 consumer organizations across the European Union, and the umbrella organization says it has received nearly 25,000 complaints from consumers across Europe about faulty Joy-Con controllers.

“According to consumer testimonies, in 88 percent of cases, the game controllers broke within the first two years of use,” says the BEUC (via Eurogamer). The group has now submitted a complaint to the European Commission claiming Nintendo is involved in premature obsolescence and “misleading omissions of key consumer information.”

Nintendo Switch owners have been reporting issues with the console’s removable Joy-Con controllers ever since its launch nearly four years ago. Most of the reports have centered around strange joystick drifting problems that create false inputs. Nintendo will repair the drifting Joy-Con controllers for free, but even the refreshed Switch models are experiencing problems.

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“BEUC and its members are very concerned about Nintendo continuing to sell a product that was continuously reported to Nintendo and in the media by consumers as failing prematurely,” says Ursula Pachl, deputy director general at the BEUC, in a letter to the European Commission. “The obsolescence of the product means that consumers often have to buy a new set of game controllers after a short time, also because of the unproportionate costs and the practical burdens that consumers would face when trying to exercise repairs.”

The European Commission will now need to decide whether to open up a formal investigation into the Joy-Con drift issues. Nintendo is also facing two potential class action lawsuits. One was filed by law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith in 2019, and a second was filled in California over the same issue in October 2020.

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