Lenovo to cough up $100 refunds, $250 vouchers to settle IdeaPad suit

IdeaPad U310/U410 owners can get either a $100 refund or $250 voucher as part of a class-action settlement

Lenovo will refund US$100 or issue a $250 voucher to owners of the IdeaPad U310 and U410 laptops to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging design defects in the computers.

The U310 and U410 laptops, which shipped in 2012, had defects that caused Wi-Fi to slow down or not work. Complaints about Wi-Fi in the laptops have piled up over the years and flooded the company's forums.

Notices about the settlement agreement were sent starting this month. Customers can visit the settlement website to sign up and to get more details on the terms.

The class-action settlement was agreed to by Lenovo and plaintiff Garrett Kacsuta and others, and filed Aug. 22 with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division.

"You may be entitled to settlement benefits if you purchased either a Lenovo Ideapad model U310 computer or Lenovo Ideapad model U410 computer," the parties said in a notice on the settlement website.

Lenovo declined further comment.

The lawsuit was filed in early 2013, alleging design defects and breach of warranty, and the case was given class status soon after. The lawsuit assumed 83,000 members who purchased the U310 and U410 as part of the class.

The court has not approved the final settlement and will rule about it on Dec. 15, the notice said. Payments will be issued after the settlement is approved by the court.

The $250 voucher qualifies only for shopping on Lenovo's website. Customers who don't want the $100 refund or the voucher are eligible for free repairs to their laptops and to have their warranty extended by a year from the date of repair.

Additionally, those who spent money out-of-pocket to get the Wi-Fi issues repaired can get reimbursements from Lenovo, provided there's documentary evidence.

The U310 and U410 shipped starting in the middle of 2012, but complaints about Wi-Fi started popping up soon after in Lenovo's forums. Lenovo allegedly had knowledge of the design defect, according to court documents. Lenovo later issued a "design update" for the laptops to "ensure a more consistent wireless performance in all customer environments," according to a notice posted by Lenovo's tech support in the forums.

Starting in the middle of last year, the U310 laptop was sold at discounted rates on Lenovo's outlet store and in retail locations like Staples.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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