Six models of Vizio OLED and LED 4K UHD flat-screen televisions are defective in that they suffer from repeated and unexpected power failures, a proposed class action claims.
The 27-page lawsuit alleges the Vizio OLED and LED 4K UHD models affected by the apparent defect have a propensity to repeatedly power off or fail to power back on after being left off for some time. When the issue manifests, it can also cause the TV to lose video connectivity to HDMI-connected devices, including Apple TV and video game consoles, the suit says. When this happens, even though the TV may be powered on, the screen “goes completely black” on the connected devices, per the case.
The lawsuit claims that although Vizio touts the TVs as having “sensational picture quality” and “best-in-class picture processing,” the Irvine, California company has known the devices, which reportedly retail anywhere from $1,199 to $1,999, were defective since at least the time of their release into the market. According to the suit, Vizio has attempted to downplay the significance of the power problem by asserting that the issue is uncommon.
“Despite knowing that the Class Televisions were prone to failure, Vizio failed to disclose to consumers that the Class Televisions [defined below] are defective,” the complaint alleges, claiming thousands of buyers have reported experiencing the power defect “right out of the box” during installation “for seemingly no reason.”
Moreover, the suit charges Vizio has also routinely refused to honor its warranty obligations, even though each affected flat-screen TV comes with one year of coverage for defects in materials and workmanship. The company has instead continually represented to consumers that the power problem will be addressed by way of a to-be-released firmware update, the complaint says.
“Instead of fixing the reported problems, Vizio has punted any warranty repairs, instead promising a ‘forthcoming firmware update’ that has yet to materialize and is not certain to remedy the Power Defect,” the case claims.
The lawsuit alleges defendants Vizio Inc. and Vizio Holding Corp. continue to advertise the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) and LED (light-emitting diode) 4K UHD devices to this day without disclosing the purported power problem.
Which Vizio flat-screen TVs does the lawsuit say are defective?
The lawsuit contends that the following Vizio OLED and LED 4K UHD models are stricken with the alleged power defect and are unsuitable for their intended purpose due to their propensity to suddenly shut off:
The plaintiff, a Pottstown, Pennsylvania consumer, claims to have experienced the alleged power issue with his Vizio flat-screen TV within a week of buying the device. According to the case, the man’s television “began powering-off repeatedly,” and his HDMI-connected devices would “suddenly go out without warning.” He further claims that he would have trouble turning the TV back on after it unexpectedly shut off, the case claims.
Had the plaintiff been made aware of the alleged power issue prior to buying his Vizio television, he would not have purchased the device or would have paid significantly less for it, the lawsuit adds. Per the suit, scores of online complaints demonstrate that the alleged power problem is not an isolated issue.
As far as repairs go, the case says no fix works outside of a hardware replacement. According to the suit, Vizio has more or less given customers the run around as far as addressing the power problem when it pops up, offering only “futile troubleshooting sessions” or ineffective “quick fixes.” From the complaint:
But instead of offering refunds or non-defective replacements, VIZIO’s uniform response is to provide owners that report either issue to go through a series of troubleshooting steps to diagnose the problem or—when the troubleshooting steps inevitably fail—promise consumers that an elusive ‘forthcoming firmware fix’ will be available at some unspecified point in the future to fix the problems. Other consumers complain that VIZIO promises to return phone calls or send a service technician, but never follows through on its promises.”
Initially filed in Orange County Superior Court on October 12, the lawsuit was removed to California’s Central District Court on November 12, 2021.
Who’s covered by the lawsuit?
The lawsuit looks to represent all consumers in the United States who have bought one or more of the Vizio television models listed earlier on this page.
I own a Vizio TV with the alleged power problems. Anything I can do?
Long story short, the best thing to do at the moment, especially since the lawsuit has just been filed, is to sit tight and stay informed.
Should the lawsuit settle, Vizio buyers who are covered by the deal would most likely receive a notice, either by email or snail mail, with instructions on how and by when to file a claim for whatever compensation the court feels is appropriate.