In April this year, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Microsoft, alleging that numerous owners had been encountering drifting issues across various Xbox controller models. Drifting causes the analog sticks on a controller to move around and register movement inputs automatically, without the player touching it.
The lawsuit asserts that a controller flaw associated with the potentiometer leads to the drifting issue. The potentiometer is a device within the joystick that transforms the analog stick’s physical movement into movements within the software.
The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft was aware of the flawed design causing the drifting issue. This is because customers have filed numerous online complaints to the company. Despite that, Microsoft “failed to disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the controllers without charge when the defect manifests.”
The court documents mention that the plaintiffs’ experiences are not isolated. It also states that “a large volume of consumers have been complaining about stick drift on Xbox One controllers since at least 2014.”
According to a recent VGC report, an amended complaint was filed in the US Court for the Western District of Washington in early October. It adds seven more plaintiffs, calling for a jury trial to address the charges against Microsoft.
The amended class-action now includes specific mentions of the newer Xbox controllers. Therefore, the Elite Series 2 controllers also belong to the list of peripherals undergoing drifting problems alongside Elite Series 1. Moreover, the updated charges include further details on the flawed analog stick that leads to drifting.
As reported by VGC, the court papers declare that the joystick component bears a known faulty design pertaining to a grease-like lubricant. This causes the resistive material to scrape off a curved track. That, in turn, leads to the undesired controller movement with no input from the player.
The complaint states, “Microsoft does not disclose to consumers that the Xbox controllers are defective, causing the joystick component to fail. Members of the general public have the right to know the latent defects with the Xbox controller components.”
The plaintiffs are seeking a financial remedy. Besides that, they are also demanding an injunction that will require Microsoft to disclose the defect to all Xbox controller owners.
Meanwhile, Nintendo had a similar type of lawsuit registered against them last year. This was due to Joy-Con controllers for the Switch experiencing drifting issues. The court case is still ongoing, and there have been a few developments recently.