The long-running bootloop dispute against LG G4 has come to an end. Ars Technica reports that the company has settled arbitration claims stemming from a lawsuit over faulty LG G4, LG V10, Nexus 5X, LG G5, and LG V20 smartphones.
Clients of the firm that filed the original lawsuit, Girard Gibbs, will receive either $425 in cash or a $700 rebate toward the purchase of a new LG phone, according to the settlement webpage. The company has also agreed to extend the warranty for all customers who bought one of the affected smartphones between 12 months and 30 months from the date of purchase.
The lawsuit against LG, Chamberlain v. LG, dates back to March 2017, when a number of plaintiffs filed for class-action status in the US District Court for the Central District of California. They claimed the Seoul, South Korea-based smartphone maker knowingly continued to manufacture phones with a critical flaw: A bootloop bug that caused them to reboot endlessly. Specifically, the parties said that LG failed to address a soldering defect that caused the phones’ processor contacts to disconnect from the PCB.
LG eventually admitted that the bootloop issue was hardware-related and promised to replace damaged devices under warranty, but the lawsuit alleged that it failed to offer “an adequate remedy” to most customers. Some of the replacement devices were nonfunctional, according to the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, and LG didn’t extend replacements to pruchasers whose smartphones failed after their warranty had expired.
Chamberlain v. LG was initially filed over the LG G4 and LG V10, but later expanded in scope to include all of LG’s flagship smartphones released in 2015 and 2016: The LG-made Nexus 5X, the LG G5, and the LG V20.
In July, LG successfully convinced the court to compel arbitration, foreclosing any possibility of a class-action lawsuit. Its attorneys cited Hill v. Gateway 2000, Inc, which established the legal precedent that additional, previously unspecified terms can become a part of contracts if (1) the parties involved had a chance to review the terms, and (2) don’t refuse them. A provision in LG’s Limited Warranty, a printed copy of which came in the boxes of the affected smartphones, precluded customers from filing class-action lawsuits to resolve disputes unless they opted out by contacting the company within 30 days of purchase.
Arbitration, unlike court cases, is overseen by an arbiter instead of a judge, and usually kept private. It’s unclear how many of the plaintiffs in the original suit were involved in the settlement, but Ars Technica pegs the number at “hundreds” out of the millions affected by the bootloop bugs.
A statement published on the Girard Gibbs website recommends that customers contact LG’s customer service department. We’ve reached out to LG for comment.