Law Street Media

Consumer Suit Claims That Acer Sold Faulty Computer Processors

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A complaint filed by the owner of an Acer computer says that the Taiwanese company and its American subsidiary sold subpar personal computers. According to Tuesday’s product-defect complaint, certain Acer models employed processors rendering them slow and unreliable during videoconferencing and game play, as well as opening them up to severe firmware attacks.

The case, filed by Bathee Dunne LLP, closely tracks another suit that the firm filed last month against HP. In this week’s complaint, the plaintiff explains that Microsoft began requiring a firmware Trusted Platform Module (fTPM) to run its operating software, Windows 11, in recognition of the threat posed by firmware attacks.

Instead of implementing the fTPM, Acer allegedly instituted “a defeat device,” described as an fTPM “built on a platform with direct access to privileged system resources.” The attempted fix cut corners, the complaint argues, opening up computers with that device to problems.

For example, the plaintiff claims to experience “severe stuttering in media playback and in videoconferencing… [and] is also uniquely vulnerable to firmware attacks that could compromise not just Plaintiff’s Acer computer, but potentially his home or business networks.”

Plaintiff argues that because the computer is defective, he overpaid for it. The suit seeks to certify a nationwide class of similarly situated purchasers of Acer computers containing AMD Ryzen or AMD Athlon processors since Jan. 1, 2019 — and a Florida subclass of the same.

For relief, the lawsuit asks for damages or restitution to make the purchasers whole as well as punitive damages.

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