Sony sued in a class action lawsuit over A7 III shutters that blocked cameras, forcing an expensive repair

A consumer named John Guerriero has filed a class action lawsuit against Sony Electronics Inc. in the Southern District of New York over claims that the shutter on the Sony A7 III is not fit for purpose, resulting in a much longer life expectancy. short. than expected. The reported shutter life expectancy on the Sony A7 III is 200,000 keystrokes, although it states that “numerous users report shutter failures … between 10,000 and 50,000 for the majority of users who experienced this.”

If those failures happen outside of the one-year warranty, customers have to pay $ 500-650 for the repair or basically get stuck with a useless brick for the rest of the time. And while the shutter life expectancy on any camera is not a guarantee, it claims that it happens often enough that it is somewhat suspect.

According to the lawsuit, there are telltale signs that your shutter is about to die and dies in a predictable way.

Before the shutter failure, users report hearing an atypical shutter sound, followed by the screen turning black and displaying the following message: ‘Camera error. Turn it off and then turn it on. ‘

– Guerriero against Sony Electronics Inc., 7: 21-cv-02618, No. 1 (SDNY March 26, 2021)

Although these problems do not solve the problem. The “unusual shutter sound” is always an indicator that something bad is about to happen to the shutter, but the generic Sony camera bug. Turn it off then on. “The error message is extremely generic and seems to be the default standard error message for just about anything that can occasionally go wrong with your camera.

Guerriero put forward a hypothesis about the cause of the ruling, stating that “[w]When a user removes the lens, the shutter closes and jams. In most cases, the shutter has come off ”, which is accompanied by several photographs showing the physical failure. He went on to say that “the shutter blade snags at the front edge when moving down when taking a picture … because the blades are positioned further forward, so they ‘snag’ and don’t clear completely.” As for the blades being further forward, he posits that the shutter “is unusually susceptible to breakage by small particles, even dust, which can cause the blades (to be) misaligned.”

It is not clear exactly how long after the error starts to appear a complete failure can be expected. But if that generic error message starts popping up before your warranty runs out and you hear people on Facebook saying to you “Just remove and reinsert the battery, it’ll be fine” and then it shuts off completely after it shuts down. run out of warranty then you have a big repair bill

No manufacturer uses the shutter life expectancy as a guarantee, but the vague error message that means nothing to most consumers combined with the apparent frequency with which the lawsuit suggests such a failure is occurring is definitely something I believe. that should be studied, especially when most manufacturers are extremely conservative in the life expectancy of their shutters. I have three Nikon DSLRs here that are at 2-10 times their rated life expectancy, for example.

You can read the full suit here.

It will be an interesting case to follow, and I am curious how many of our readers have experienced such a glitch with the A7 III. Not surprisingly, many photographers contact DIYP and I would have thought that if this were as common a problem as the lawsuit suggests, we would have heard more about it by now.

[via Law Street]

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