Camera-breaking Sony A7 III shutters result in class action lawsuit against Sony

Sony is being sued on behalf of “all New Yorkers who bought the A7 III” because of a persistent problem with the shutter failure that damages the camera, according to a class action lawsuit.

The suit claims that the shutter on the Sony A7 III often fails between 10,000 and 50,000 actuations and is well below the stated life expectancy of 200,000 actuations. The lawsuit also alleges that the failure often occurs outside of the one-year warranty period, forcing consumers to pay $ 500 to $ 650 for repairs.

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Plaintiff John Guerriero filed a lawsuit against Sony Electronics Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 26, 2021. The class consisted of all New Yorkers who had bought the Sony A7 III (hat tip to Photo Rumors).

The action “seeks a class-wide injunction based on rule 23 (b) in addition to a money relief class.”

The details of the complaint are set out below, but in short, the shutter blades are described as being disengaged – apparently because they get caught on the camera body during the shooting process because they are positioned too far forward. The limited strength and durability of the clasp was also highlighted.

The lawsuit alleges Sony had been aware of the problem since 2017 and cites the petition. We would like the Sony A7III to be recalled to replace the shutter with over 1,200 signatures to demonstrate the widespread nature of the problem.

This type of legal process tends to move slowly, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out …

Photos of Sony A7 III users who experienced the shutter failure as stated in the lawsuit (Photo credit: United States District Court for the Southern Borough of New York)

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

II. The shutter problem of the a7iii

16. The shutter life of the a7iii is 200,000 actuations.

However, many users report closure errors well below 200,000, but between 10,000 and 50,000 for most users who have experienced this

18. While the a7iii is typically sold with a one-year warranty, a closure failure occurs accidentally, often outside of the warranty period.

19. The result is that buyers will pay approximately $ 500-650 to repair and replace the locking mechanism.

20. The closure failure manifests itself in a consistent manner.

21. Before the shutter fails, users report an atypical shutter sound, followed by a black screen and the following message: “Camera error. Switch off then switch on. “

22. However, following these instructions often does not solve the problem.

23. Users who experience a shutter failure have removed and reinserted the camera’s battery. However, this is also ineffective.

24. When a user removes the lens, the latch is closed and stuck.

25. In most cases, the lock has come loose, as demonstrated by the numerous a7iii users who have shared pictures of their broken shutters on the internet.

26. Several explanations have been given as to why the a7iii shutters fail relatively frequently and before the expected number of actuations.

27. This includes observing that the shutter blade catches on the leading edge if it moves down while taking a picture.

28. This is because the blades are positioned further forward so that they “catch” rather than become completely free.

29. In addition, the material of the front curtain fastener has limited strength which causes it to break.

30. The shutter is also unusually susceptible to interference from small particles, even dust, which can cause the blades to be misaligned. of

31. As a precaution, many users have resorted to using the camera with the Electronic Front Curtain Shutter (“EFCS”) turned off, which can reduce the chance of the shutter malfunctioning.

32. When the EFCS is on, it “shortens the time lag between triggers and helps reduce shutter noise when taking pictures.” 6

33. However, the EFCS is one of the top reasons to buy the a7iii and if it does not need to be used it will reduce the usefulness and value of the camera.

34. Users whose shutters do not completely fail will still have abnormal streaks that can only be seen when the mechanical shutter is used.

35. The cause is the failure of the rear curtain to clean properly.

36. Although users and do-it-yourself repair enthusiasts have offered ways to loosen the clasp, they can damage the clasp.

37. Additionally, the problem is likely to recur and the user will be denied any warranty for having caused “physical damage” while attempting to fix the closure failure.

38. In fact, Sony has refused warranty coverage to numerous a7iii users for these reasons. 39. Sony has also denied coverage to those who experienced a shutter defect when submitting their claims outside of the limited warranty period.

40. Sony has been aware of the a7iii’s shuttering flaw since shortly after its release

41. Sony is aware of the percentage of this model that has a premature shutter failure but has refused, for example, to initiate a recall or to cover the defective shutter. “

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