December 21, 2006

Nintendo sued over Wii wrist straps

Last week Nintendo announced a voluntary replacement program for the Wii Remote's wrist strap, which had been breaking at inopportune times for some customers and resulting in collateral damage. Shortly after the system launched in North America on November 19, reports popped up of broken cords, followed quickly by flying controllers crashing into high-priced electronics, living room furniture, and the occasional innocent bystander. While Nintendo acknowledged the Wii strap's problem and apparently addressed it, the company might not have done so in time.

On December 6, a Wii purchaser in Austin, Texas filed a suit against Nintendo, alleging the publisher of violating the Washington Consumer Protection Act (Nintendo is based in the state of Washington, where the suit was filed) by engaging in "unfair or deceptive practices" by telling consumers that the wrist strap was to prevent the controller from flying out of a user's hand during use, and then providing a strap that was "ineffective for its intended use." The suit also claims that the Wii Remote strap's problems constitute a breach of warranty, and seeks to become a class-action suit in which anyone who has purchased a Wii would be able to join.

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