BRUSSELS: European owners of the popular Nintendo Switch gaming console will get free lifetime repairs after thousands of complaints of defective units, the EU, the company and consumer organisations said Tuesday.
Nintendo offered the repairs after the European Commission said it had pressed the Japanese company over “a recurring technical problem with irresponsive controllers”.
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) had raised the issue of the defective controllers with the commission.
The problem, known among Nintendo Switch users as “Joy-Con Drift”, caused players’ characters to slip uncontrollably across the screen.
BEUC said nearly nine out of 10 Nintendo Switch consoles “broke within the first two years of use,” according to user testimonies.
Consumer organisations that make up BEUC reported nearly 25,000 complaints about the Nintendo Switch console by January 2021.
Nintendo posted a notice on its technical support page that users in the European Union, Switzerland and Britain could now get their defective Nintendo Switch consoles fixed at a Nintendo repair centre “at no charge” and “until further notice”.
It said “this applies even if the syndrome is caused by wear and tear and even if the 24-month manufacturer’s warranty provided by Nintendo has expired”.
The European Union is intent on reducing built-in obsolescence in electronic consumer items to slim down the amount of e-waste.
The commission last month adopted a proposal that, once it becomes EU law, would provide consumers with a “right to repair” under which manufacturers would have to make their products easier and cheaper to fix once the warranty runs out.