Western Digital hit with class action lawsuit over SSD defects

Western Digital, a prominent name in the data storage industry, is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly selling SanDisk Extreme Portable SSDs with significant defects. The lawsuit seeks damages exceeding $5 million, in addition to interest, fees, and costs.

The lawsuit was initiated by Nathan Krum in San Jose, California. It alleges that the SSDs, which include the SanDisk Extreme Pro, Extreme Portable, Extreme Pro Portable, and WD My Passport models, failed due to a critical flaw.

These models, despite being marketed as some of the most reliable SSDs on the market, are accused of having a firmware issue that causes them to disconnect or become unreadable by computers. Users of these devices have reported drive failures and data loss. When these drives are connected, they reportedly generate a message stating, “The disk you attached was not readable by this computer.”

According to the lawsuit, the SSDs have unexpectedly erased stored data without any prior warning. The lawsuit further alleges that Western Digital has not publicly disclosed the serial numbers of the potentially affected SSDs, nor has it acknowledged the issue’s existence. However, it suggests that the company was, or should have been, aware of the problem before the product release. The user base of these SSDs largely comprises professionals who handle substantial amounts of critical data.

The loss of such data could incur recovery costs in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, if recovery is even possible. Hence, the lawsuit is seeking collective damages of $5 million. Earlier in the year, after reliability issues were reported, Western Digital released a firmware update for several models, including SanDisk Extreme Portable 4TB, SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable 4TB, SanDisk Extreme Pro 2TB, SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB, and WD My Passport 4TB. However, the lawsuit contends that this update did not address the fundamental issue causing the drive failures and data loss, and that these problems persist.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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