HP settles product liability lawsuit for equivalent of $5 million

According to reports, printer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard (HP) has settled a product liability lawsuit in the US for the equivalent of $5 million.

The case – technically made up of three separate lawsuits – centres on faults found in thousands of HP printers sold over a period of nine years, relating to problems with printer ink cartridges.

The first customer complaint was that some HP printers used colour when they were supposed to be printing in black and white only, whilst another was that certain printers suddenly stopped working on undisclosed expiration dates. A final complaint was that some HP printers displaying ‘low on ink’ warnings prompted confused customers into replacing cartridges before they needed to.

Although Hewlett-Packard denied the allegations, a settlement has reportedly now been reached. HP has agreed to change some of the ‘low ink’ warning messages, as well as making the information in user manuals clearer.

In addition, the company – which presumably has professional insurance in place for product liability issues – has agreed to contribute $5 million in e-credits to the owners of affected HP printers purchased in the US, provided they have filed a claim for compensation.

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