Ecovacs Deebot Robot Vacuums ‘Certain to Fail’ Due to Motor Defect, Class Action Alleges
A proposed class action lawsuit alleges Ecovacs Robotics, Inc. has concealed from consumers a defect that can cause its Deebot robot vacuums to fail prematurely.
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The 37-page lawsuit says that despite the in-home tech company’s quality guarantees, Deebot vacuums are equipped with a defective, easily damaged motor that was built from second-rate materials and lacks a sufficient barrier to prevent dirt, dust and hair from penetrating the motor’s inner mechanism. Failure of the Deebot vacuum motor is signaled by four beeps and an error code message reading “main brush malfunction,” the Ecovacs lawsuit describes.
Due to this apparent defect, a crucial component of the pricey robot vacuum is “certain to fail,” causing the device to become “wholly inoperable” long before the end of its expected lifespan, the case argues.
“Absent a functioning motor, the [Deebot vacuums] are incapable of use and are worthless,” the lawsuit summarizes.
Industry standards dictate that for a robot vacuum to last for its generally expected four- to six-year lifespan, its motor must be protected from the accumulation of dirt, dust and hair, the filing stresses. Manufacturers can accomplish this by positioning a vacuum’s motor in a suitable spot and/or using a protective casing and sturdy materials, the lawsuit says.
The suit contends that the Deebot products at issue—listed below—lack these critical features because Ecovacs has chosen to cut corners on durability at the expense of consumers.
“Ecovacs chose to manufacture the products using outdated and defective technology in an effort to save costs and force consumers into purchasing a replacement unit,” the case charges, claiming the products are unfit for their purpose of automatically vacuuming floors without human intervention.
“Save yourself the $ and buy something else,” consumer review suggests
Per the complaint, Ecovacs represents itself as an experienced manufacturer “at the forefront of innovation in smart home robotics.” The company markets its Deebot vacuums as “versatile robot[s] for deep cleaning,” and equipped with a “V-shaped main brush” to “sweep, lift and vacuum in a single pass for more lifting of dirt and dust especially on carpets,” the suit says.
According to the lawsuit, however, hundreds of customers have taken to the internet to complain about their malfunctioning Deebot vacuums and futile attempts to seek redress with Ecovacs, posting complaints to which the company regularly responds.
Per the suit, consumers have posted on Ecovacs’ website and third-party retailer sites like Amazon.com and Walmart.com, calling the robot vacuums “dud[s]” that “[didn’t] even last a year.”
ClassAction.org previously helped with this investigation.
One buyer complained on Amazon.com that their product “had malfunction after malfunction and now it has stopped working for good,” the case shares. Another individual bought three Deebot vacuums and claimed that each had “died within a year,” the filing says.
Similarly, a consumer who posted a complaint on Walmart.com reported that their “Deebot stopped working a week after the return window ended,” the lawsuit relays. As the suit tells it, the buyer contacted Ecovacs about the problem and, in the post, contended that “[the Ecovacs support agents] were not much help. Save yourself the $ and buy something else.”
Notably, in its responses to online complaints about the defect, Ecovacs has often provided troubleshooting tips and hinted that “any issues are the fault of the user and result from improper use,” the case shares.
The plaintiff, a California resident who bought a Deebot N79 vacuum in November 2021, claims to have heard the device beep four times before it died only two months after purchasing it. When the man called customer service, the Ecovacs agents “continuously transferred [him] from one rep to the next until the call dropped,” and the plaintiff was unable to file a warranty claim, the filing states.
The suit reports that after a futile—and expensive—attempt to fix the product at a local vacuum repair shop, the plaintiff was forced to buy a replacement robot vacuum from another manufacturer for $399.
Ecovacs has long known about the defect, filing claims
The lawsuit alleges that Ecovacs “has always known” about the defect—thanks in part to its own internal testing, scores of customer complaints, repair records and warranty claims—yet has made no significant modifications to remedy the problem, much less warn consumers before they purchase a Deebot product.
As the suit tells it, the company has “routinely” denied no-cost repairs to malfunctioning devices, even if a vacuum is still covered by the one-year warranty. Rather than fulfill its warranty obligations, Ecovacs instead informs buyers in search of repairs that the defect is not covered, or provides them with “equally defective” replacements or parts that only fix the problem temporarily, the case shares.
The company has similarly refused to repair Deebot vacuums that malfunction after their warranty has expired, and Ecovacs has failed to issue a recall or reimburse consumers for out-of-pocket expenses, the complaint adds.
The filing charges that the company’s “knowing fraud” with regard to its sale of inherently defective Deebot vacuums has resulted in substantial repair and replacement costs for many frustrated consumers.
Which Deebot robot vacuums are mentioned in the lawsuit?
The complaint states that all Deebot models are afflicted by the apparent motor defect, including, without limitation, the N79, N79S, N79SE, 901, 920, T10, X1 Omni, X1 Turbo, N8 Pro, N8 Pro+, 500, Ozmo N7, T8, T8 AIVI, Ozmo T8, U2, U2 Pro, 600, Ozmo 960, 710, 711, 711S and 500 models.
Who’s covered by the lawsuit?
The case looks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased a robot vacuum in the Deebot product line.
I have a Deebot robot vacuum. What do I do to join the lawsuit?
Nothing! Typically, you don’t need to do anything to join or add your name to a class action lawsuit when it’s first filed. The time to act is if and when the lawsuit reaches a settlement, at which time the people covered by the deal—known as class members—may be notified directly by email or regular mail with instructions on what to do next.
Remember, it often takes months or even years for a class action lawsuit to be resolved.
If you own a Deebot vacuum, have in the past, or simply want to stay in the loop on class action lawsuit and settlement news, sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter.
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