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Lenovo Compensates Customers As Part Of A $70m IdeaPad Settlement

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Lenovo is to compensate users who bought its U-Series ultrabooks in a California class-action settlement

Lenovo is to issue compensation to those who bought its IdeaPad U310 and U410 laptops in the US under a $70m (£42m) settlement to a class-action lawsuit filed in California last February.

The lawsuit claimed that the laptops, which shipped in 2012, had design faults that caused the Wi-Fi to slow down or fail.

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‘Substantial benefits’

Lenovo and plaintiff Garrett Kacsuta and others agreed to the settlement, filed on 22 August with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division.

“The settlement provides substantial benefits to the settlement class and is fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of plaintiffs,” said the plaintiff’s lawyers in a statement.

Lenovo declined to comment.

California resident Kacsuta initially filed the claim after failed efforts to have Lenovo repair his device, and it was eventually joined by 83,000 members.

Lenovo will issue a $250 voucher for shopping on its website to those who form part of the class, or a $100 refund. The company is also offering free repairs to their laptops and a warranty extension by one year from the date of repair. Those who spent money out-of-pocket to repair the Wi-Fi issue can be reimbursed upon supplying documentary evidence.

The court is expected to rule on the settlement on 15 December, with payments issued after court approval.

Complaints

Numerous complaints about the devices have appeared on the company’s forums and in e-commerce site reviews, a fact that Lenovo at one point tried to use in its favour, arguing that such reviews comprised a kind of public disclosure exempting it from liability. A judge rejected this argument in July 2013.

In a review posted on Amazon.com in March 2013, Washington DC resident Michael Wheeler wrote: “DO NOT BUY THIS LAPTOP!… This computer without question has repeated Wi-Fi connection problems.”

Wheeler filed his own lawsuit against Lenovo in October 2013, and this is to be included under the California settlement, according to court records.

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