Short Bytes: After being cornered into admitting that a selection of their phones contained manufacturer defects en masse, LG found themselves facing a class action lawsuit in the US. The lawsuit has now grown both geographically as it becomes recognized in other nations, as well as the variety of models now receiving coverage for the same issue. Given that many of the phones covered by the lawsuit are still sold, we have to wonder, is it worth buying any of these LG devices?No company wants to be in the spotlight for a product’s shortcomings, whether they are exploding batteries, fire prone power connectors, or laptop GPUs that fail prematurely. LG isn’t the most popular phone vendor, so when their products started malfunctioning at fairly high rates, they weren’t subject to the same public scrutiny as Apple or Samsung. But when a particularly large number of products started going up with the same mode of failure, it was only a matter of time before the users organized.
Currently, the US lawsuit covers the LG G4 and G5, Nexus 5X, as well as the LG V10 and V20. The problem, characterized as a “boot-loop issue” appears to be due to a flaw in the way CPUs were soldered to the motherboards. When the CPU does not make full contact with the motherboard, the unit fails to boot and retries indefinitely. This is certainly not as sensational as an exploding battery, but it’s definitely disappointing.
The lawsuit arose when LG, aware of the issue, replaced warrantied devices with new devices that were manufactured with the very same flaw. This led to users experiencing the same issue on separate devices, despite this, once beyond the one year warranty from the original date of purchase, the users were offered no love from LG.
I, personally, own the LG G4 and the lawsuit spilled its way over into Canada. My device is now being evaluated for repair. I find that unsettling. I was sold a device with a one-year warranty by my wireless carrier on a two-year term. This is normal, but while the device only has a year-long warranty, I expect the device, then $900, to last at least two years (my Nexus 4, 5, 7, Motorola Atrix, and HTC Desire all lasted many years). Had I expected the device to fail only a year and a half into my two-year term, I simply would have chosen something else.
That brings us back to the fact that I was sold a defective device. Despite being sold a defective device and being within the allotted nine-month extension to the original warranty, my device is still subject to evaluation for its failure, for LG’s failure.
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So, is it worth buying an LG device that is known to have this issue? You can look at it a few different ways. First, the G4 and G5 are very good phones (on paper) for the current prices. But, are they really worth it? With a significant number of devices failing within the warranty time and even more beyond it, but still within the expected lifespan of the device, you would be hard-pressed to think that the return on investment for one of these devices is comparable to any other device that does not come with CPU failure running in the family.
When my G4 died and I was forced to pay out the remaining subsidy on my provider’s agreement before I could upgrade, I was particularly disappointed. I wasn’t very surprised that I had bought a device that was prone to failure, especially given my impeccable luck with previous devices, I thought it was coming eventually. But LG’s reaction and handling of the situation has been all but professional, in my opinion. From replacing the defective unit with more defective units to units covered under the extended warranty requiring an evaluation before being covered, it has really turned me off of LG. I loved my Nexus 4 and 5, they were amazing devices, especially at their price-point, but LG does not seem to have valued their customers’ enough to provide real support for their own failures.
Has anyone else suffered from this LG issue? Have you had any luck with the warranty process? Let us know about your LG experiences in the comments below.