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BEUC calls for Joy-Con Drift investigation after receiving 25,000 complaints

BEUC calls for Joy-Con Drift investigation after receiving 25,000 complaints

January 27, 2021 | By Chris Kerr

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) has called for the European Commission to launch a Europe-wide investigation into Joy-Con Drift. 

The BEUC is an umbrella group for 44 independent consumer organizations spread across Europe. Last year, it asked Nintendo Switch owners to reach out and disclose any drift issues they'd encountered while using the console's Joy-Con controllers. 

Now, the BEUC claims to have received nearly 25,000 complaints from European consumers in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Norway, and more, and they paint a pretty damning picture. 

"Consumers have expressed their dissatisfaction with a recurring technical problem with Nintendo Switch controllers, commonly referred to as 'Joy-Con Drift.' This causes the games' characters to move without touching the controller, making the console unusable," wrote the BEUC. "According to consumer testimonies, in 88 percent of cases, the game controllers broke within the first two years of use."

Off the back of those testimonies, the BEUC has submitted a complaint to the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities for "premature obsolescence and misleading omissions of key consumer information." It has also called for an investigation into the issue, and is asking Nintendo to "urgently address the premature failures of its product."

Until Joy-Con Drift issues have been resolved, the BEUC wants Nintendo to start offering free controller repairs. It has also asked the Japanese company to be honest with consumers about the "limited lifespan" of the gamepad.

"Consumers assume the products they buy to last an appropriate amount of time according to justified expectations, not to have to pay for expensive replacements due to a technical defect. Nintendo must now come up with proper solutions for the thousands of consumers affected by this problem," said BEUC director general, Monique Goyen.

“It’s high time for companies to stop putting products onto the market that break too early. Creating unnecessary electronic waste completely goes against the objectives of the European Green Deal. To help combat this problem and to help consumers make the right purchase decision, manufacturers should be obliged to provide pre-purchase information on product durability to help consumers make both more informed and more sustainable choices."

The BEUC's call to action comes less than two years after Nintendo was hit with a class action lawsuit in the United States over the same issue. That suit has since been moved into arbitration.

You can read the BEUC's full statement and official complaint letter right here

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