EU regulators Joy Con Drift

A European consumer rights organization has called for an investigation of the Joy Con drift issue that plagues most launch consoles.

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) is calling on the EU to investigate complaints of Joy-Con drift on Nintendo Switch consoles. The organization represents more than 40 consumer organizations across the European Union. BEUC says it has received more than 25,000 complaints about faulty Joy-Con controllers.

“According to consumer testimonies, in 88% of cases, the game controllers broke within the first two years of use,” confirms the BEUC. The group has now submitted a complaint to the European Commission that says Nintendo is involved in premature obsolescence and “misleading omissions of key consumer information.”

As an avid Nintendo gamer myself who runs an enthusiast website, the BEUC is not wrong. One of the consistently most popular articles on Ninty Gamer is one where I showcase how to fix Joy-Con drift temporarily. That post continues to outperform any others on the site, except around new game releases.

Nintendo will repair the drifting Joy-Cons for free, but the issue will return. That’s because the plastic of the Joy-Con grates after repeated use and gets in between the controller’s contacts. It causes issues that are experienced through normal wear and tear. The harder you are on your Joy-Cons, the sooner you will experience Joy-Con drift.

“BEUC and its members are very concerned about Nintendo continuing to sell a product that was continuously reported to Nintendo and in the media by consumers as failing prematurely,” says the Deputy Director General of BEUC – Ursula Pachl. “The obsolescence of the product means that consumers often have to buy a new set of game controllers after a short time, also because of the unproportionate costs and the practical burdens that consumers would face when trying to exercise repairs.”

Now it’s up to the European Commission to decide whether to open a formal investigation into the issue. Nintendo is already facing two class-action lawsuits over Joy-Con drift. A lawsuit in California materialized in October 2020 and seems the most promising of the two.

The drift is not the only issue consumers face with the Joy-Cons either, frequent disconnecting is also a problem.

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