HP Officejet Pro 8600 Printer Lawsuit

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What’s the Problem With the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Printhead?

The printhead is the core component part of an inkjet printer that holds the ink cartridges and controls the flow of ink onto the paper.

Consumers claim that after limited use of the HP Officejet Pro 8600, the product stopped working and began displaying an error message that read “Printhead is missing, not detected, or incorrectly installed.” The printer than allegedly shuts down, preventing the user from printing, copying, scanning or faxing. Since 2012, hundreds of consumers have complained about this specific problem with the printer.

In response to being bombarded with questions and claims regarding the stability of the OfficeJet Pro 8600 printers, HP dedicated an entire page on its support forum that outlines 10 steps that consumers can take to attempt to fix the problem. Most of the steps include resetting the printhead or ink cartridges, or cleaning them thoroughly. HP recommends that consumers buy a completely new print head if resetting and cleaning do not work, providing the part number for the printhead and a conveniently placed link that directs consumers to the HP parts website. The price for a new printhead from HP is $120. Yet, even when the expensive printhead is replaced, problems have been known to recur.

HP’s History With Defects

Other than posting the support page, HP made no attempt to fix the printhead problem nor to alert consumers. HP’s selling of printers with parts that they knew to be defective should void their warranty statement guaranteeing that printers will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for one year from the purchase date otherwise HP is obligated to repair or replace the printer.

Since HP knew about the problem with the printheads and consumers did not, there existed a “disparity of bargaining power at the time of purchase, and the limited warranty is therefore unconscionable.“ If the limited warranty is unconscionable then HP has breached the express warranty provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, which clearly states that if the manufacture breaks the express warranty the buyer can bring a cause of action against the seller for breach of contract.

This is not the first time HP has faced litigation over one of its printers. In 2013, a class action suit was filed claiming that two of HP’s wireless printers contain a defective receiver that affects the printers’ ability to stay connected to computers, rendering the wireless printing capability essentially useless. The plaintiff accused HP of “engaging in unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices, violating the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and breach of express warranty.”