Skip to main content

Nintendo faces yet another Joy-Con drift lawsuit

An expert analysis noted that the drift is caused by "extensive wear on the pad surface on the interior of the Joy-Con"

A new class action lawsuit has been filed against Nintendo of America regarding the Switch's Joy-Con drift.

The lawsuit was filed in a Seattle court, Polygon reported, and claims that the Switch is "defective" due to the Joy-Con controllers registering movement without user command.

"This defect significantly interferes with gameplay and this compromises the Switch and Joy-Con controller's core functionality," the lawsuit read. The plaintiff commissioned an assessment from a technical expert, who noted that the cause of the drift is "extensive wear on the pad surface" of the Joy-Con's interior.

"As the steel brushes inside of the joystick move back and forth, they rub away the soft carbon material that makes up the pad, which changes its electrical resistance and leads the drifting phenomenon," the expert noted. "The difference in surface hardness between the steel brush and the carbon pad results in excessive wear debris that collects on the steel brush tips. This transferred debris exacerbates the wear of the pad. The wear of the carbon (a known soft material) by the steel brushes (a known hard material) inevitably causes the joysticks to fail."

This analysis is in line with that of French consumers organisation UFC-Que Choisir, which also filed a lawsuit against Nintendo back in September. Back then, the organisation noted that the drift was caused by a premature wear and tear of the electronic circuits as well as an airtightness defect, which means fragments can easily get inside the Joy-Con.

The new lawsuit pointed out that Nintendo is aware of the defect as it's gathered "international scrutiny" as well as ongoing investigations, including the UFC-Que Choisir one but also from other consumer advocacy groups in Belgium and Switzerland.

"Notwithstanding its knowledge of the defect, Nintendo has failed to disclose this material information to consumers, and routinely refuses to repair the joysticks without charge when the drift defect manifests," the lawsuit continued.

The first class action lawsuit against Nintendo regarding the Joy-Con drift dates back from July 2019 in the US. A few months later, the Switch Lite was added to the lawsuit, just a week after its launch. In March 2020, a Washington court denied Nintendo's move to dismiss the lawsuit.

This October, a mother and son also filed a complaint in Northern California, seeking over $5 million in damage.

Read this next

Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
Related topics