For pretty much as long as the Nintendo Switch has been on the market, we’ve been hearing reports of Joy-Con drift from players. Drifting thumbsticks have been a major problem for a lot of people, to the point where Nintendo has had class-action lawsuits filed against it. Now, it seems the company has caught the eye of a major consumer advocacy group in Europe, and may soon be facing an investigation from European regulators.
Specifically, The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has submitted a complaint about Nintendo and its malfunctioning Joy-Cons with the European Commission, asking the EC to take action on the matter. The complaint was filed on behalf of consumers across Europe, as the BEUC says that it has received testimony from consumers in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Greece.
According to the BEUC, it received “nearly 25,000 complaints from European consumers,” regarding Joy-Con drift, and it considers this an example of premature obsolescence. “According to consumer testimonies, in 88% of cases, the game controllers broke within the first two years of use,” the BEUC wrote today. “On behalf of consumer groups in affected countries, 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).”
From here, the BEUC is asking for a “Europe-wide investigation into the issue,” from the European Commission, and it would also like to see “Nintendo to be obliged to urgently address the premature failures of its product.” In the interim, it wants Nintendo to repair faulty controllers for free and properly inform consumers about their “limited lifespan.”
So, we’ll see what happens from here, but when you’ve got a large consumer organization like the BEUC requesting an investigation from the European Commission, then Nintendo might quickly find itself on the wrong side of regulators regarding this Joy-Con drift problem. You cen read more about the BEUC’s complaint – and see the letter they sent to the European Commission – by visiting the BEUC’s website.