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MS hit with Red Ring of Death lawsuit

Californian complaint seeks refunds

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Just four words can send a Microsoft Xbox 360 executive running for the hills. And they’ll be getting their trainers on now, because a Red Ring of Death lawsuit has been filed against Microsoft.

A report by DailyGamesNews states that the lawsuit alleges Microsoft knew about the infamous RRoD problem as far back as 2005, but that the firm chose to hide Xbox 360 RRoD failure rates so that sales wouldn’t suffer.

The lawsuit was filed at the Sacramento County Superior Court under California's consumer protection statutes. It seeks the introduction of a refund programme in California and a “disgorge all profits attributable” to Microsoft’s sales of the console.

Numerous articles on the subject of RRoD have apparently been cited in the lawsuit, including some that allege Microsoft was well aware of the RRoD problem back in November 2005 – just six months after the console was officially unveiled.

The lawsuit also makes reference to a report claiming that over half of the initial batch of Xbox 360’s was defective.

Electronics warranty firm SquareTrade has already found that, of 1040 examined warranties sold between 1 April 2007 and 31 July 2007, 102 of the 171 people who filed claims did so because of Xbox 360 RRoD problems.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 warranty extension plan, announced last year, may not count in its favour. Last year, the firm took an estimated $1bn (£581m/€746m) hit to extend the standard one-year warranty to three years - from date of purchase - to cover RRoD hardware crashes.

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