Class-Action Lawsuit Says a7 III Shutter is Bricking Cameras

Sony has been sued by a consumer who claims the popular Sony a7 III has shutter defects that damage the camera and force owners to pay for expensive repairs.

Law Street Media reports that the plaintiff, a man named John Guerriero, filed a class action lawsuit against Sony Electronics Inc. in the southern borough of New York yesterday.

Guerriero calls Sony “the avant-garde of mirrorless camera movement because they are the most accessible full-screen system[s] on the market ”before the company was accused of rejecting warranty claims from camera owners who had“ mechanical problems ”with the shutter of the a7 III.

“The a7iii is smaller, lighter, and more durable than its DSLR counterpart, which adds to the higher cost – about $ 2,000,” the lawsuit said. “Unfortunately, many buyers of the a7 III have made the cameras unusable due to mechanical problems with the shutter, unless they pay more than $ 500 to an authorized service center for repairs.”

Sony states that the a7 III is designed for 200,000 shutter actuations. However, according to the lawsuit, many owners have reported locking errors that occurred well before that 200,000 actuation mark was reached.

“Numerous users report closure errors well below 200,000, but between 10,000 and 50,000 for most users who have experienced this,” the complaint said. “While the a7iii is usually sold with a one-year warranty, a closure defect occurs randomly, often outside of the warranty period.”

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

The lawsuit also alleges that the camera’s shutter failure in such a predictable way was due to a mechanical flaw in its design.

“The closure failure manifests itself in a consistent manner,” the filing reads. “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. ‘ […]

The camera error message is displayed when the shutter fails. Exhibition photo by Guerriero v Sony Electronics Inc., 7: 21-cv-02618

“When a user removes the lens, the latch is closed and stuck. In most cases, the lock has come loose, as demonstrated by the numerous a7 III users who shared pictures of their broken shutters on the internet. “

Stuck shutters. Issue photos by Guerriero versus Sony Electronics Inc., 7: 21-cv-02618
Broken shutters. Issue photos by Guerriero versus Sony Electronics Inc., 7: 21-cv-02618

There are several theories about what causes this particular type of closure failure.

“This includes the observation that the shutter blade gets caught on the leading edge if it moves down while taking a picture,” said the lawsuit. “This is because the blades are positioned further forward so they ‘get caught’ and don’t clear completely.

“In addition, the material of the front curtain fastener has limited strength, which causes it to break. In addition, the shutter is unusually susceptible to interference from small particles, even dust, which can cause the blades to be misaligned. “

Some users of the Sony a7 III are said to have turned off the electronic curtain shutter (EFCS) to avoid this error. However, this increases the shutter noise and is not ideal for photographers who bought their a7 III for quiet shots – at weddings, for example.

Others who have encountered this error have tried to resolve the issue themselves, which may result in warranty claims being rejected.

Guerriero is now suing Sony on behalf of “all New York citizens who bought the a7iii cameras.” Among other things, he demands an injunction, an award for damages / costs / fees and other reliefs from the court.

(via Law Street Media via DIYPhotography)

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