In response to a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA in the United States, the organization exonerates itself of all responsibility.
In the case of overheating 16-pin adapterswhich would involve about fifty identified cases, according to NVIDIA, the PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group), the organization that specified this standard and which already warned manufacturers at the beginning of September, again challenged them. In concrete terms, the organization absolves itself of responsibility and exonerates itself from all liability by recalling a few principles. The statement below was sent to members following a lawsuit “Genova v. NVIDIA Corporation”. This is a class action initiated by a certain Lucas Genova on November 11, and defended by Bursor & Fisher. Complainant alleges “that the graphics card GeForce RTX 4090 has a design flaw that renders it inoperative and liable to catch fire”.
In response, the PCI-SIG sent a statement to the members, which was then sent to the press by the group’s public relations department. Here it is, translated:
“PCI-SIG wishes to draw the attention of all members who manufacture, market or sell PCI-SIG technology (including 12VHPWR connectors) to the need to take all appropriate and preventive measures to ensure the security of the end-user, including testing for reported issues involving consumers as alleged in the aforementioned lawsuit. We remind members that the PCI-SIG specifications provide the technical information necessary for interoperability but do not purport to address proper design, manufacturing methods, materials, safety testing, safety tolerances, or manufacturing. When implementing a PCI-GIS specification, members are responsible for the design, manufacture and testing, including security testing, of their products.”
A class action lawsuit against NVIDIA
Going back to the lawsuit “Genova v. NVIDIA Corporation,” it was filed in court for the Northern District of California. Here are some excerpts:
“On November 11, 2022, Lucas Genova (“Claimant”), individually and on behalf of all other like-minded persons, represented by Neal J. Deckant of Bursor & Fisher, PA, filed a class action lawsuit against NVIDIA Corporation (“Defendant”), seeking damages and alleging that Defendant marketed and sold the RTX 4090 with a defective and unsafe power cable plug and receptacle, which rendered consumer cards inoperative and represents a serious electrical and fire hazard for every buyer […]. Thus, the plaintiff and the members of the group were struck by a double prejudice: a high purchase price (the MSRP is 1,599 dollars) for a dangerous product which should not have been sold in its current state”.
The plaintiff also alleged that “consumers have consistently reported following instructions provided by NVIDIA when installing their cables. These are buyers who post on specialized forums. These consumers, including plaintiff Wood, are generally experienced in installing graphics cards and had no indication of any problems at the time of installation. The cause of the melting appears to be a fault in the cable plug or connector design such that too much current is flowing through a certain pin causing it to overheat and melt the surrounding plastic […].”