Santa Cruz, CA: Google is facing a potential consumer fraud class action over allegations the microphones and speakers in its Pixel phones have a tendency to fail, a defect Google is aware of,, yet it continues to advertise and sell the phones anyway.
Filed in California federal court, by plaintiffs Patricia Weeks and Waleed Anbar, the complaint states that Google LLC’s Pixel phones, which compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhones, are made with defective microphones that make the phones unsuitable for phone calls or voice commands, such as Google Assistant.
The plaintiffs allege that despite being aware of these issues, Google has thus far failed to provided affected consumers with a refund or working replacement phones.
According to the complaint, Weeks purchased her $749 Pixel phone in December 2016 after seeing advertisements about the product’s voice assistant, but noticed shortly thereafter that she wasn’t able to use the feature or speak to callers. Similarly, Anbar states in the complaint that he bought a Pixel for $649, largely because of Google Assistant, however he too was unable to use the feature as the microphone and headphone jack in his phone stopped working.
Neither plaintiff would have bought their phones had they been aware of the defective microphone issue, they allege. They would, however, buy more Google phones if the defect is fixed, the complaint states.
Weeks and Anbar are not alone, they allege thousands of consumers have written online about audio failures with their Google Pixel phones. “In response to warranty claims, Google provided customers with futile repairs or with Pixel phones suffering from the same defect, often resulting in repeat failure,” the complaint states.
Weeks and Anbar seek to represent a class of people nationwide who have purchased a Google Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone since October 4, 2016.
The plaintiffs are represented by Daniel C. Girard, Jordan Elias, Adam E. Polk and Simon S. Grille of Girard Gibbs LLP and Benjamin F. Johns, Andrew W. Ferich and Jessica L. Titler of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP.
The case is Patricia Weeks et al. v. Google LLC, case number 5:18-cv-00801, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.