Update 10/25/19: Google has addressed the issue, saying its "actively looking for a fix" in a blog post.
We’ve got bad news for Google Home owners: Users are reporting that their Google Home and Google Home Mini smart home speakers are bricked and have stopped working as a result of an automatic firmware update.
Android Police found concerned comments about unresponsive devices on Google’s help forum and Reddit. The posts date back to September, but Android Police says a recent pile up of reports about two of the best best Google Home speakers suggests the issue is ongoing.
Irked users wrote that they have found the four LEDs on top of the Google smart speakers lit up, even though Google Assistant wasn’t fielding commands. Some resolved the glitch by unplugging the device or performing a factory reset. But most report their Google Homes remained bricked even after they’ve tried to reboot.
The user who started one of these Reddit threads wrote, “I’ve tried unplugging, long duration and short, the mute, long and short hold, connecting through app (non existent) to physical violence and aggressive stare downs and name calling (just kidding).” Still, their Google Home wouldn’t respond.
Reddit users also say Google initially refused to replace the kaput speakers if they’re out of warranty.
“I spoke with customer service a few days ago and there is no fix to the issue,” wrote Reddit user u/Goodsituation about his bricked Home Mini. “You may get lucky with reset steps but unless you're in warranty, the device will not be replaced.”
However when we reached out to Google, a spokesperson said the company is replacing the unresponsive speakers.
"We're aware of the issue and are working on a fix," the spokesperson said. "In the meantime we are replacing affected devices."