In an update on consumer complaints surrounding the continued issues brought on by the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con drift hardware malfunction, the European Consumer Organization is calling for a Europe-wide investigation into the problem.
The BEUC, a representative group defending the interests of consumers across Europe, is formally submitting its findings and calling for an investigation following “nearly 25,000 complaints” across multiple countries, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, and Norway.
All of these complaints center around Joy-Con drift, a problem that pops up on the default Switch controllers that causes movement without the user touching or making an input on the hardware. Eighty-eight percent of these cases show the controllers malfunctioning within the first two years of use, according to the complaints the BEUC compiled.
As a result, 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 (on the basis of the EU’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive).”
“BEUC and its members are calling for a Europe-wide investigation into the issue and for Nintendo to be obliged to urgently address the premature failures of its product,” the BEUC said. “Until then, the faulty game controllers should be repaired for free and consumers should be properly informed about the limited lifespan of this product. Since coming onto the market, the console has sold more than 68 million units worldwide, many of which in Europe.”
Joy-Con drift has been a rampant problem since the Switch’s launch in 2017. And while Nintendo has continued to say that the company is working to improve the product, the issue still persists, even on newer Joy-Con models. Multiple lawsuits and filings have been made against Nintendo for this exact problem over the last few years.
“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,” BEUC director general Monique Goyens said. “Nintendo must now come up with proper solutions for the thousands of consumers affected by this problem. It’s high time for companies to stop putting products onto the market that break too early.”