Despite efforts by the company to remedy the problem, users of Ultrabooks have alleged that manufacturer Lenovo Inc. has been unable to fix problems central to mobile computing according to a putative class action lawsuit.
Michael Wheeler, a Washington D.C. resident, alleges that he bought a Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook through the company’s website and was unable to connect to his home Wi-Fi network in spite of representations by the electronics manufacturer that he would be able to do so. Even after he returned the laptop to the company for repairs, his class action lawsuit attorney alleges that he “noticed no improvement in wireless connectivity,” and “could not reasonably have discovered the defects at the time of purchase or delivery.”
Prior to Wheeler’s purchase, Lenovo reportedly knew of problems with the product and stated that it would introduce an update or hardware change after July 2012. According to the defective design class action lawsuit, however, the company failed to improve the product to match the promises made in advertising materials, including the claim that a Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook and related items “offer the performance to handle any mobile computing task.” The complaint notes that some advertising includes images of users able to access internet services in a library setting.
In addition to breaches of express and implied warranties, Wheeler’s class action lawsuit attorney is seeking damages on violations of the District’s Consumer Protections and Procedures Act and unjust enrichment, arguing that the company continues to advertise the product and sell it even though the company was aware of its connectivity issues.
If certified, the class represented by Wheeler’s action would include all residents and organizations in the District of Columbia “who purchased, leased or received a Lenovo IdeaPad U Series Ultrabook computer.” To satisfy commonality requirements, questions of fact would include the alleged inability to consistently connect to Wi-Fi networks, a common complaint based on consumer reports and the company’s own admission. The complaint should satisfy numerosity concerns once the sales figures of the laptop in question are determined, according to the plaintiff’s legal team.
Michael Wheeler is represented by Gary E. Mason and Nicholas A. Migliaccio of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP and by Jordan L. Chaikin of Parker Waichman LLP.
The Lenovo Ultrabooks defective design class action lawsuit is Michael Wheeler, et al. v. Lenovo (United States) Inc., Case No. 13-cv-0007150, Superior Court for the District of Columbia.
UPDATE: On Aug. 22, 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a Lenovo Ultrabooks class action settlement. If approved, the settlement will provide benefits to consumers who purchased a Lenovo Ideapad model U310 or U410 Ultrabook computer in the United States.
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