Toshiba DLP TVs: Consumers Fume as Screens Go Dark

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Waxahachie, TXBuyers of certain models of Toshiba DLP televisions are steaming over defective lamps that seem to be conking out well before they should be, and replacements are hard to come by. The result is a class-action lawsuit filed against Toshiba America Consumer Products, alleging that a lamp integral to the operation of the expensive, high-end television device does not last nearly as long as the 6000 to 8000 hours the company's marketing materials claim.

Toshiba has stated that the problem is with a limited number of units manufactured in 2005 with lamps that performed far below the manufacturer's expectations. Lamps that proved defective and did not live up to prescribed life expectancy were replaced free of charge by the manufacturer.

However that is little solace to Toshiba DLP television owners who had to wait for months for a back-ordered lamp to come in, or wound up replacing the replacement lamp.

DLP TVForgive the Waxahachie, Texas family for their frustration as they sit in their living room, watching an 18-year-old TV. It sits on a little wooden table in front of the family's new, $3000 62hm 195 Toshiba DLP television. The unit is 60-days old, and the lamp has failed already. Toshiba will replace the defective lamp free of charge, but it's on back order and will be several weeks or more. Thus, the family makes do in an exquisite, new viewing room watching a dinky little set that's worth nothing and still performing well after nearly two decades, while continuing to make payments on the room's centerpiece that remains dark.

Another Toshiba DLP television owner was on her third lamp in less than a year, not to mention relinquishing the set to a service center for replacement of the ballast board and other maladies.

Another disgruntled Toshiba owner reported on a conversation he had with a Toshiba supervisor, who indicated that Toshiba would replace any burnt-out lamp regardless of the frequency of failure, so long as it was within the one-year warranty period. However, various customer service reps with whom this consumer spoke were only offering to replace the bulb once.

It has not been determined if lamps included as original equipment were defective, or if a design flaw in the unit was contributing to early lamp failure. A customer service letter, sent to a Toshiba customer and dated March 23rd, 2006 makes reference to a defective lot of lamps that lay at the root of a spate of early bulb burnouts. At the time, Toshiba articulated that the defective lamps were limited to a certain series of DLP televisions, and that distribution of a 'new and improved' lamp would be undertaken free of charge to consumers experiencing difficulty with lamps.

There would be a two-month wait for these lamps to arrive, the letter stated.

Given the emergence of a class-action lawsuit nearly two years after these problems were coming to light, in the first few months of 2006, it appears as if these problems are continuing.

In hindsight, the development of solid-state circuitry has lulled the consumer into complacency where electronics are concerned. Some of us still remember the old stereo, and TV sets equipped with vacuum tubes that would burn out over time.

Conversely, the acquisition of a television that relies on a functioning 150-watt lamp to work properly would expect the lamp to require replacing over time. Light bulbs WILL fail. While there are exceptions...some bulbs fail after only a few weeks, while others can last a decade or more...most are expected to deliver faithful service for a string of months, and are inexpensive to replace.

However, the Toshiba issue appears to be frustrating on a number of fronts. Many consumers report making their buying decision based on the manufacturer's promise that lamps were expected to last 6,000 t0 8,000 hours. The reality for many appears to be quite different.

Additionally, the steep price tag dictates that many purchasers finance the TV, often requiring monthly payments for three years or more. The sudden need to replace vital components so soon after bringing the set home, would not only prove frustrating but—if the set is out of warranty—could be beyond the owners' finances, especially if they are still making payments.

Thus, an expensive Toshiba DLP that serves as the focal point of a room can sit dark and useless, while the bills continue to come in.

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Toshiba DLP Television Legal Help

If you have suffered damages in this defective product case, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Toshiba DLP Television Lawsuit] to review your case at no cost or obligation.

Reader Comments

Posted by

i have two 65 inch and a 52 inch toshiba dlp and have had constant problemes with all three bulbs repeatavly. i spent almost 7000 dollars on thes tvs thinking toshiaba was a good purhase but what junk i would not purhase a nouther product from them

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