European Consumers’ Associations Investigate Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift

Nintendo Joy-Con

A collective of European consumers’ associations have announced they are investigating the infamous Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift defect.

Made up of consumers associations from Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and the European BEUC; the announcement comes via the Dutch Consumers Association, Consumentenbond (translation: Google Translate).

The director of Consumentenbond Sandra Molenaar states they are asking consumers to report issues they are having to them as they are “getting signals that the Switch will not last as long as consumers might expect. In addition, options for repairing the console are limited, forcing consumers to make expensive replacements. We use the responses to determine what further action to take.”

The announcement further states as part of the European Green Deal, the EU is “promoting policy to make consumer products more sustainable.” As such, curbing issues with durability, repairability, and tackling products that fail sooner than expected are “high on the agenda.”

Speaking to NOS (translation: Google Translate), a spokesperson for Consumentenbond stated “Nintendo continues to sell the consoles with the same problems and is not taking any steps to improve this. Then as far as we are concerned you are doing the wrong thing.” 

The spokesperson was also critical of the options for repairing the console being “limited,” and as such forcing consumers to buy replacements.

“We now have multiple options, including talks with Nintendo and a lawsuit,” the spokesperson concluded. “But we can also ask the regulator whether it can enforce it.” NOS report the consumers’ associations union has received over 2500 complaints so far.

In case you missed our prior reports, the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons have issues with drifting–which is when the joystick remains untouched, yet input is still registered.

This resulted in a class action lawsuit by Chimicles, Schwartz Kriner, & Donaldson-Smith in July 2019. Reports suggest Nintendo even began repairing Joy-Cons for free mere days after the lawsuit became public knowledge.

The Nintendo Switch Lite was later added to the lawsuit, and the hardware failure causing the drift was exposed. Curiously, a Tencent representative (the distributor of the Nintendo Switch in China) told a customer that the drift was caused by playing an imported game.

In late December, 2019 we also reported how French consumer magazine 60 millions de consommateurs awarded Nintendo their “Golden Cactus” award (specifically the “Cactus of the Too Fragile Product”), which is given to products and services that cause the most frustration. Belgian consumer organization Testankoop also demanded Nintendo repair all Joy-Cons for free, and honor a two year warranty.

In May 2020, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled a lawsuit against Nintendo due to the Joy-Con drift must go to arbitration.In early October 2020, a mother and son sued Nintendo over the Joy-Con drift, asking for over $5,000,000 USD.

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa reportedly apologized for any inconvenience caused to our customers” due to the drift, during an investor Q&A in June 2020. Since July 2019, Nintendo have been repairing Joy-cons even outside of users’ warranties.

leaked patent for a new Joy-Con controller also lead to speculation that the rumored 4K supporting “Nintendo Switch Pro” would not support handheld mode. Some also wondered if this new Joy-Con would no longer have the drifting issue.

Image: Nintendo



Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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