Right after Google released its first released the Pixel and Pixel XL, early adopters of the devices reported running into microphone issues. While this was addressed in the phones later produced by the company, the problems disabled three mics on the devices and often just shorted out, like when you’re holding the devices in different ways or in cold temperatures. Google is now facing consequences of those issues.
Google now faces a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company knew about the issues before the product was launched but decided to sell the phone anyway. The lawsuit (PDF) claims that even some phones that were replaced under warranty experienced microphone issues, regardless of fixes being in place. The company continued to knowingly sell Pixel and Pixel XL devices with the defect still in place.
At the time of when issues were being reported, a Google employee on the Pixel support forums said that the problems might be caused by “a hairline crack in the solder connection on the audio codec,” basically internal damage that might even be caused by the device being dropped. Google was able to later fix the issue after making tweaks to its manufacturing process, but didn’t offer a fix to the current phones that ran into the issues. The company offered replacements for the affected devices under warranty.
“Despite receiving hundreds of complaints shortly after launch — and admitting the phones have a “faulty microphone” — Google continues to sell the Pixel phones without telling purchasers about the microphone defect. Moreover, instead of fixing the defective Pixel phones, providing refunds, or replacing the devices with non-defective phones, Google has replaced defective phones with other defective phones, resulting in many consumers repeatedly experiencing the microphone defect,” the lawsuit stated.