A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in Utah in which the plaintiff alleges certain Samsung plasma televisions manufactured after January 2009 contain faulty internal components – specifically, lead capacitors that prematurely fail during normal operation. The 33-page lawsuit, which names Samsung Electronics America, Inc.; Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.; Sears Holdings Management Corporation; and Sears, Roebucks and Co. as defendants, claims that the supposed defect presents itself over time and can ultimately cause the televisions to fail well before the expected end of their lifespan.
What Does the Lawsuit Say About the TVs?
The allegations presented in the complaint kick off by noting Samsung stopped manufacturing plasma televisions altogether sometime after November 30, 2014, due in part, the case says, to such televisions being costlier to produce when compared to LCD or LED televisions. After shutting down this sector of their operations, the lawsuit continues, Samsung reportedly failed to maintain an adequate inventory of replacement parts needed to address allegedly defective components within its plasma televisions. These parts, the lawsuit says, kept the televisions affordable to consumers, but were not of the highest quality. According to the case, consumers ended up paying for Samsung’s reported penny pinching:
“In order to lower the cost to consumers, Samsung used inferior component parts to make their plasma televisions more ‘affordable,’ at least at the outset. In the long run, however, consumers who purchased Samsung’s plasma televisions would pay more, either implicitly through the dramatically decreased lifespan of the televisions requiring the purchase of a new television or through costly repairs, when such repairs could be made."
Many consumers who chose to go the route of repairing their plasma televisions were unable to find necessary replacement parts in the months and years after production’s end in November 2014, the complaint claims. At the same time, others found themselves unable to even buy new plasma televisions, as other manufacturers also began removing themselves from the plasma television marketplace.
Components Allegedly “Ill-Suited to Support Plasma Television Technology”
Because they require more energy to operate, plasma televisions place more stress on their internal components, which can be damaged due to excessive heat exposure or voltage, the complaint says, the televisions’ capacitors being chief among the vulnerable hardware:
“Capacitors function as energy storage centers. Their storage ability allows capacitors to help smooth voltage spikes that are caused by lightning or electrical switches opening and closing, thus allowing a steady current to be supplied to circuits inside a television.
Over exposure to heat shortens the life of a capacitor. When the capacitors overheat they can no longer relay signals properly and thereby cause televisions to malfunction.”
The lawsuit, which was filed without attorney representation, argues that the alleged failure of some Samsung plasma televisions can be traced to internal parts simply being “inadequately graded or otherwise ill-suited to support plasma television technology.”
Arguing televisions are reasonably expected to last through at least eight years of continuous use, the lawsuit rounds out by alleging Samsung implicitly misrepresented to consumers the lifespan of their plasma televisions. Sears, as a retailer of the televisions in question, the lawsuit says, similarly failed in its duty to warn consumers that Samsung’s plasma sets came with an allegedly reduced lifespan.
Who Does the Lawsuit Cover?
The lawsuit hopes to cover all individuals in Washington state who bought certain Samsung televisions manufactured between January 1, 2009 and the present.