Specifically, the complaint alleges that Vizio "smart" TVs were marketed as such based on their ability to access Apps such as YouTube and others. However, they failed to warn consumers that there would come a time when the service would no longer work.
The reason that many of these TVs don’t function properly is due to the fact that they use an older Flash-based Application Programming Interface (API) and not the newer HTML5-based API systems. As of June 26, 2017, YouTube no longer works on TVs with the Flash-based API.
Although Vizio has sold TVs with the newer API since 2013, the company hasn't offered any remedy to consumers with TVs using the Flash-based programming. Instead, they have offered them the same advise as YouTube, which is to buy an external streaming device such as a Google Chromecast.
According to the lawsuit, “Defendant sold Affected Smart TVs to consumers by promoting them as inherently different from traditional television sets based on their ability to access video streaming entertainment apps. Defendant promoted Affected Smart TVs as having all the convenience of smartphones and computers with the ease and convenience of using a familiar device – the television set – in the comfort of consumers’ living rooms. To lure consumers in, Defendant promoted its most popular Affected Smart TV video streaming entertainment apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Specifically, Defendant promoted Affected Smart TVs by placing the YouTube logo on its packaging, in-store displays, and by displaying the YouTube app in its commercials and in online advertising to inform consumers that Affected Smart TVs came with YouTube access included upon purchase.”
According to the complaint, Vizio notified consumers of the issue by a posting on its website listing the affected models.
The proposed class includes anyone in the United States who purchased a Smart TV with one of the model numbers listed below.
The proposed class action also seeks to represent consumers who bought and still own affected Vizio TV sets and reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
The model numbers allegedly affected are:
241i-A1* E241i-A1w* E291i-A1* E320i-A0* E390iA1* E3D320VX* E3D420VX* E3D470VX* E3DB420VX* E420d-A0* E420i-A0* E420i-A1* E422VA* E422VL*E422VLE* E423VL* E470i-A0* E472VL* E472VLE* E500d-A0* E500i-A0* E500i-A1* E550i-A0*E550i-A0E*E551d-A0* E551i-A2* E551VA* E552VL* E552VLE*E601i-A3* E650i-A2* E701i-A3* M320KD*M320SL*M320SV* M370SL* M370SR* M370SV* M3D420SR* M3D421SR* M3D460SR* M3D470KD*M3D470KDE* M3D550KD* M3D550KDE* M3D550SL*M3D550SR* M3D650SV* M3D651SV* M420KD*M420SL*M420SR* M420SV* M470KD* M470NV M470SL*M470SV* M472VL* M550KD* M550SL*M550SV*VBR121* VBR122* VBR133* VBR135* VBR140* VBR370*
Plaintiffs are represented by The Blankenship Law Firm PS.
The Case is 3:17-cv-05897