A U.S. class action lawsuit has been filed against business appliance and consumer electronics maker Gateway, Inc. by a group of consumers in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of California.
The lawsuit alleges Gateway violated the California Consumer's Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act through its manufacturing, distribution and sales of its GTW Series Plasma Television sets.
Gateway, which introduced its line of plasma televisions in 2002, claimed they had "exceptional value and brilliant picture quality." The complaint alleges, however, that consumers experienced a total failure of their television sets within a short time after purchase.
It is believed that Gateway's plasma televisions contain defective parts caused by a design or manufacture defect, which renders the television sets completely inoperable. Consumers complained that the televisions emitted "popping sounds" and produced a "burning odor." Local television repair shops notified complaining consumers that their only recourse would be to request repairs from Gateway. Despite attempts by consumers to work with Gateway, replacements parts were unavailable and the televisions could not be repaired. The televisions varied in price from U.S. $3,000 to $7,000.
"This is a serious matter," said Anas Akel, counsel on behalf of the consumers. "It seems that Gateway's poor customer service and forcing consumers to jump through hoops before honoring its warranties will now be addressed by the courts. A number of consumers purchased expensive plasma televisions that Gateway advertised as setting 'new standards for quality and value.' Yet within months these sets failed and complaints to Gateway fell on deaf ears."
Consumers are seeking to prevent Gateway from the continued sale of defective units as well as a number of other remedies that have been requested in the lawsuit.
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