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Google Sued Over Pixel Microphone Glitches, Faulty Replacements

Talk about a #FlashbackFriday. Instead of customers being irate over Pixel 2 issues, users are now suing Google over defects in that phone's predecessors, the 2016 Pixel and Pixel XL.

Specifically, Patricia Weeks of Florida and Waleed Anbar of California are taking action over Google's refusal to offer a refund or replacement for Pixel smartphones that are plagued with "defective microphones."

For this effort, the two acquired the legal talents of a firm in San Francisco (which recently filed claims against Google and LG about the Pixel's Bootloop issue, which led to a dismal loop of crashes and reboots) for a class-action lawsuit against Google.

MORE: Google Pixel 2: Features to Enable and Disable

The case, Weeks v. Google, was filed this past Tuesday (Feb. 6) in a US District Court in the San Jose division of the Northern District of California. Weeks and Anbar are represented by Girard Gibbs, whose website boasts of settlements and payments made to his clients by high-profile companies including Intel, Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan Chase.

The legal papers filed place the blame squarely on Google for having "designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold the Pixel phones." Further, it argues that "Despite receiving hundreds of complaints shortly after launch—and admitting the phones have a 'faulty microphone'—Google continues to sell the Pixel phones without telling purchasers about the microphone defect."

Google's direct communication with customers over the microphone issues appears to be limited to this page of its forums, where it advises persons with faulty phones to contact Google's support or authorized service partners if you're out of warranty.

The Weeks lawsuit, though, argues that there's little point in seeking help in this situation as "instead of fixing the defective Pixel phones, providing refunds, or replacing the devices with non-defective phones, Google has replaced defective phones with other defective phones, resulting in many consumers repeatedly experiencing the microphone defect."

How bad is the defect? The lawsuit alleges that it "compromises the phone’s core functionality, preventing consumers from communicating by voice call and from using features like Google Assistant." Which is pretty bad considering how important phone calls are to smartphones and how important a feature the Google Assistant is to the Pixel.

In a statement to Ars Technica, Emily Clarke, a Google spokeswoman, stated, "We don't comment on ongoing litigation but it might be worth including a link to our help center page in your story which explains the solutions we have for out-of-warranty customers."

Credit: Samuel C. Rutherford/Tom's Guide