It’s the iPhone 4 reception problem all over again - it’s just turning into a class action lawsuit this time.
Colin Fraser is leading a class action lawsuit against Asustek for their Transformer Prime tablet. The lawsuit alleges that the metallic case of the tablet makes its GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities useless according to Courthouse News Service.
Fraser opens with his ordering of the tablet in December of 2011. Before it even arrived to his home, he was made aware of “hardware problems … relating to Transformer Prime’s GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities.”
The plaintiff states that in a letter from Asus’ customer service department, the company acknowledged the problem and said it was a “result of the spun aluminum back panel which effectively blocks GPS signals.”
Fraser goes on to say that numerous blogs and forums discussed the issues the tablet was having and even created an online petition for a fix or recall. Asus, according to the plaintiff, said that only a few in the first batch “were victims of this design flaw and they recalled 300 units.”
The petition didn’t find Asus’ solution to be satisfactory, however, and claims that “end users have found that the Wi-Fi issue is much more widespread, in addition we are finding that GPS and Bluetooth issues are also a likely result of the same design flaw.”
The petition goes on to say that Asus removed GPS from its spec list, and then announced a new Transformer Prime that eliminated the offending back plate that was causing the problem in the first place.
At this news, people petitioned Asus to either replace the back plate on their current model or let them trade it in for the new model.
Fraser claims the company was aware of the problem and apologized for it in a Facebook post:
The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites. Please note that this product is not a professional GPS device, and signal performance can be easily influenced by factors including, but not limited to: weather, buildings, and surrounding environments. Please understand there are limitations when using the GPS function. To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, we made the decision to remove it from our specification sheet and marketing communications. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
Fraser then goes on to say that he finally received his Transformer Prime on January 16 and “almost immediately … began to experience significantly reduced GPS performance which rendered the device unreliable and not functional.”
"Upon information and belief, plaintiff's reception problems relating to the GPS are not unique and individuals across the country have experienced similar problems following their purchase of the Transformer Prime.”
"[T]hese problems are, without question, the result of the Transformer Prime's defective design and/or manufacture ('... no RF window ...') and there is no foreseeable manner to remedy the defect on the existing device," Fraser says.
Fraser seeks an injunction and damages for “negligence, defect in design, manufacture and assembly, breaches of warranty, violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and business and professions codes, and negligent misrepresentation.”
Have any of you, the readers, experienced problems with the Transformer Prime? Does this issue warrant a class action lawsuit? Let us know in the comments.