HP Pavilion Elite owner resorts to lawsuit over 'inherently defective' PC

Summary:The owner of an Pavilion Elite desktop PC is suing HP claiming the system he bought is "inherently defective," and regularly locks up within 20 minutes of use.

The owner of an Pavilion Elite desktop PC is suing HP claiming the system he bought is "inherently defective," and regularly locks up within 20 minutes of use.

The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court last week, is seeking class-action status in order to allow other dissatisfied HP customers to seek remedy.

Note: Lawsuit here (PDF)

According to the lawsuit filed by Colorado resident Michael A. Kent, a range of Pavilion Elite desktop PC (e9150t, e9180f, e9180t, m9600t and m9650f) supplied with a "Truckee" motherboard manufactured by Pegatron Technology (an ASUS spin-off) and and an Intel i7 CPU, crash or lock up after a short period of use on a regular basis.

From the lawsuit:

"After operating the e9150t for approximately two weeks, Plaintiff's computer began experiencing repeated disruptive failures including lock-ups, freezes, and blue screen errors, requiring him to reboot the computer."

...

"The customer complaints identify manifestations of the defect that occur on HP Pavilion Elite series computers running Microsoft Windows XP and XP Professional, Windows 7 and Linux."

I've watched this PR disaster unfold for a few weeks now. I first discussed the issue back at the end of September when the complaints thread on the HP support forum was 98 pages long. The thread is now a whopping 290 pages long and in that time there's not been a single official response from HP, either on the thread or to direct questions relating to the issues being raised by dissatisfied owners. HP it seems has been given opportunity after opportunity to respond to the complaints raised and hasn't taken them.

The support forum makes for dismal reading. Here's a small selection of posts over the past few days:

tinyrage:

I just wanted to include my experience. I and a family member each purchased HP computers with the Truckee motherboard and the i7 series CPU. I purchased an e9180f and he purchased an e9150t.

He experiences exactly the kind of behavior described on this forum, with the computer hitting a BSOD 20-30 minutes after the computer is turned on (on a clean HP install, requiring no user interaction). He has gone through the gauntlet of HP technical support, who eventually offered to replace the motherboard.

My computer runs fine until I try to play video games, at which point the DCP latency begins to spike, sound begins to stutter, I lose my wireless connection, and eventually the computer locks up (sometimes resulting in a BSOD). To avoid this, I can restart the computer when the symptoms start, and then the computer will usually run smoothly.

I have not tried to go through support, as I cannot afford to go through some of the regular exercises required of HP support such as wiping the machine and creating a clean install, or waiting for weeks w/o a computer while it goes in for repairs.

So, that is 0 for 2 for this series of computers in my experience.

Both of us installed all of the latest updates, including BIOS 5.22.

If there's any additional information I can provide that might be useful to others on this forum, let me know! 

Hanspuppa:

Hello All, I just received a call from a Case Manager Supervisor. What service.

I explained all my issues with the two systems I purchased, and requested the defective systems be replaced with new systems, and she denied my request.

All she offered was for me to send the systems back for repair. I explained all the issues with respect to the HP repair, and she again advised that was all she could do for me.

Since these two systems cannot be used reliably, I now will have to rob all the usable components from them and build two new systems that I can use.

$3,500.00 down the drain. But we all live and learn.

Good luck to those that continue to purchase products from HP.

The1stHunter:

I bought an HP Pavilion Elite e9180f and have had nothing but problems since the beginning. I posted a few weeks ago and I wanted to provide an update for the benefit of other customers facing a similar issue. I called HP Technical Support on October 19th to complain about the freezing and BSODs I was getting on almost a daily basis. I was told they will repair the unit and was given a guarrantee that after this repair I will not receive anymore of these issues. I was told it would take 1-2 business days to receive the box in which I would send back the computer and about 3-5 days to receive the replacement. The replacement arrived only last week! When I opened up the box, I saw that one of the plastic flaps was jammed at the front of my case and it was scratched! I won't even speculate how they managed to do that...I turned it on and within a few hours of use, lo and behold it crashed! Needless to say I was very upset with this.....

I proceeded to call up HP complain some more and I actually got a decent support rep who understood my concerns and that this is all unacceptable. After telling him the issues I was facing even after the replacement, he filled out a request to get the computer repaired again and put in the note that the machine was still crashing and the case was scratched. I told him that I have been following this issue on the HP forums and the internet in general and that this was an issue with the defective Pegatron Truckee motherboard. He told me HP has discovered that this is indeed an issue with that component and that moving forward HP will not be using this component (Part#: 517194-001) but will use the following instead for future units: (Part#: 594415-001). I asked him to verify the manufacturer of this type of motherboard but he could not. I sure hope this is not another Pegatron!

After I reported the issue I got a little peace of mind. I never want to deal with Pegatron again and I am disgusted by the problems I and the loads of other customers have had to face. If this problem is repaired and I ultimately end up with a working computer, I will be glad that the issue is solved but if more problems happen, I will give them a piece of my mind and I will make sure I get compensation for this mess.

BrettD:

I hereby give up with hp "support".

After dozens of calls to hp, and many broken promises, I eventually wrote to the CEO as suggested by someone on this site. Nothing.

My unreliable pc is still sat here waiting for a returns box. It's many weeks now since I began this effort to fix the thing. I give up. I don't know what else to do.

Good luck to anyone else in the same situation.

Lawsuit here (PDF)

Topics: CXO, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Legal

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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