Phones

LG sued in class-action lawsuit over bricked G4 and V10

Plaintiffs claim that in addition to selling defective phones, LG's customer support was underwhelming and that it "refused to provide any remedy."

The LG V10.

Josh Miller/CNET

South Korean phone maker LG is being sued in a class-action lawsuit over claims that it sold defective G4 and V10 phones, and that the company did not provide adequate support in fixing this issue.

The lawsuit, obtained by Ars Technica, includes four plaintiffs who purchased either a G4 or V10 between July 2015 through October 2016. During their ownership, the phones unexpectedly crashed and rebooted themselves continuously, rendering it unworkable (this defect is known as a "bootloop defect").

Though each of the four parties' stories vary on how LG specifically handled the issue, overall it went like this: LG would attempt to repair the defective devices or send replacements. Unfortunately, the replaced phones (sometimes replaced third-over) also shared the same bootloop defect. In some instance, LG refused to pay for the replacement phone citing expired warranties. All were unaware of the bootloop effect before purchasing the phone.

Both phones were top-tier handsets during their launch, with the G4 costing about $552-$630 (and £500, AU$879) depending on the carrier. The V10, which is similar to the G4 but has an upgraded processor, more memory and a second camera, retailed for even higher.

The defect was widely cited by other users on Reddit, YouTube and CNET's own forums. The suit also states that in October 2015, US carrier Sprint retailers received a memo from Sprint saying that a "hardware issue has been identified in the LG G4." The memo said there is no workaround for the problem and that LG is aware of the issue. Later that month, LG released the V10, which had the same defect, and did not notify consumers.

In January 2016, LG commented on the issue, telling Android Authority that it was a result of "loose contact between components."

In addition to getting back the money they lost from the defected phones (as well as legal costs), the suit is seeking claims for breach of implied warranty, fraudulent business practices, violation of consumer protection, unfair trade and unjust enrichment of "ill-gotten gains."

LG did not respond to a request for comment.