NVIDIA Class-Action Settlement for MacBook Pro Owners


Several MacRumors readers have forwarded us emails they received earlier today notifying them of a proposed class-action settlement for customers who purchased certain MacBook Pro models or other Dell and HP notebooks and have been experiencing failures of their graphics chips.

A settlement of a class action lawsuit (The NVIDIA GPU Litigation, Case No. 08-cv-04312-JW) relates to the NVIDIA chips inside certain Dell, Hewlett-Packard ("HP"), and Apple notebook computers. The lawsuit claims that NVIDIA sold defective Graphics Processing Units ("GPU") and Media and Communications Processors ("MCP") that affected the performance of some of the notebook computers in which they were incorporated. NVIDIA denies all allegations of wrongdoing and has asserted many defenses. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

For MacBook Pro customers, only those who have experienced the following issues on the covered machines are eligible for compensation:

- Distorted or scrambled video on the notebook computer screen
- No video on the notebook computer screen even when the notebook computer is on

Users who qualify for compensation may be eligible to receive either free replacement of the faulty chip or reimbursement for repairs previously paid-for by the customer to address the problem.

It is unclear exactly what effect the proposed settlement will have on Apple customers in practice, as Apple itself has already stepped up to cover affected machines. After initially covering the machines for the specific issue for two years from date of purchase, Apple in June 2009 increased the coverage to three years. According to the tech note on the topic, Apple in June 2010 again extended the coverage limits to four years, meaning that customers are covered by Apple until at least May 2011. Similar to the NVIDIA settlement, Apple is offering free repairs or refunds for previously paid-for repairs for affected customers.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

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