While it still needs court approval to be final, it appears that Google and owners of the original Pixel handset have settled a class action lawsuit. Under the terms of the settlement, as posted by The Verge, Google will pay out $7.25 million or up to $500 for each member of the class. The case involves Pixel and Pixel XL units purchased prior to January 4th, 2017 that were sold with a defective microphone; the plaintiffs claimed that Google knew about the issue but shipped the phones anyway.
Google narrowed down the cause of the problem to either a hairline crack in the soldering of the audio codec or a faulty microphone. The company also hinted that dropping the phone could be to blame; making it appear that the consumer is at fault even though there is a manufacturing defect is an excuse that most manufacturers turn to dating back to the Apple iPhone 4 and Antennagate. Meanwhile, over 800 posts about the Pixel's microphone were posted on the Google support forum.When the issue first surfaced, Google said that the problem was rare, affecting only 1% of Pixel users. At the time,
The lawsuit was filed in February 2018 and 15 months later both sides have shaken hands on a settlement. Affected Pixel owners will be divided into four different categories to determine how much they will receive in compensation from Google. A check for as much as $500 will be sent to those who purchased a Pixel with a defective microphone and returned it for a replacement unit that also had a defective microphone. An individual with a single Pixel model with a microphone problem will receive up to $350. And if a Pixel with a bad microphone was covered by insurance, the cost of the co-payment will be reimbursed by Google. Those who purchased a flawless Pixel or Pixel XL prior to January 4th, 2017 could still receive as much as $20 if the court gives a thumbs up to this deal. A hearing will be held on June 5th to determine if the court will issue a preliminary approval regarding the settlement.
Google and Huawei settled a class action suit over the Nexus 6P earlier this year
The microphone wasn't the only issue with the OG Pixel models. In January 2017, we told you the story about a gentleman who owned the Pixel XL and complained that the phone would distort volume at high levels. He went through multiple replacement units, each one with the same problem. Eventually, Google said that the problem was a hardware issue and could only offer replacement units to owners of affected models.
The same law firm behind the Pixel class action suit also sought Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL owners for a class action suit against Google, LG and HTC in November 2017. You might recall that the second generation Pixels had a number of problems when first launched including screen burn-in. Users also complained about whistling and clicking sounds when they were on a phone call.
Last month, Google and Huawei agreed to a $9.75 million settlement resolving a class action suit filed by owners of the Nexus 6P. The device, launched back in the olden days of 2015, was designed by Google and manufactured by Huawei. The phone suffered from a bootloop problem that made the phone useless as a brick. Others complained that the battery on the phone drained too fast. That suit was filed in 2017, and the settlement offered up to $400 for those who had the same issues on multiple Nexus 6P units. Those who provided documentation of a bootloop or battery drain received between $150 and $300, while owners with unsupported claims were paid $20 to $75.