After 25k complaints, EU calls for investigation into Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift
The European Commission has released a statement outlining its potential next steps regarding Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift, prompted by calls for it to act from its own European Consumer Organisation (BEUC).
The matter is now in the EC’s hands, and it will now decide how to investigate further and potentially coordinate action against Nintendo in line with Consumer protection cooperation (CPC) regulation, which enforces consumer rights consistently across the Single Market.
“Early obsolescence is a growing concern for all consumers,” an EC spokesperson told Eurogamer. “The Commission is determined to act against such trends and to empower consumers in the green transition. We are preparing a new legislative initiative aiming to provide consumers with better information on products’ sustainability, including durability, and better protection against certain practices, such as early obsolescence.”
Nintendo has yet to comment on the matter.
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the EU’s joint consumer programme, has called for a Europe-wide investigation into Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift after receiving more than 25,000 complaints from numerous countries.
The group has now submitted its own complaints to the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities around Europe, based on its rules surrounding “premature obsolescence and misleading omissions of key consumer information on the basis of the EU’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive”.
In the vast majority of cases – 88 per cent – Nintendo Switch owners reported issues with their Joy-Con controllers within the first two years of use, the BEUC said.
Complaints have been received from Switch owners in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece.
The BEUC has called for Nintendo to repair faulty Joy-Con for free – something it has done in the past – and to inform consumers of the “limited lifespan” of Joy-Con at present.
“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 boss Monique Goyens said. “Nintendo must now come up with proper solutions for the thousands of consumers affected by this problem.”
We’ve contacted Nintendo for comment.
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift – where the controller stops communicating properly with the console’s base unit, or begins controlling itself – has been a widely-reported issue since the console first launched.
In September 2019, a class-action lawsuit was filed by Switch owners in the US following growing reports of people facing Joy-Con issues. At the time, Nintendo said it would fix any problems of this nature for free.
Asked about the still-ongoing issue in June 2020, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa apologised for “any trouble caused” and said Nintendo was “continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would like to refrain from responding about any specific actions”.