Switch owners in the UK, European Economic Area, and Switzerland are now eligible for free repairs of faulty Joy-Con, commonly known as ‘Joy-Con drift,’ as announced in an update to Nintendo’s support page. The issue is labeled as “responsiveness syndrome or so-called ‘drifting'”. This aligns the company’s policy with other regions like North America, Latin America, and France, and the new policy extends to Switch Lite issues as well.
“Until further notice, Nintendo will not charge you in the European Economic Area (EEA), UK and Switzerland for the repair of the responsiveness syndrome irrespective of whether this is caused by a defect or by wear and tear,” the site states.
Nintendo takes great pride in creating high-quality and durable products and is continuously making improvements to them. Therefore and until further notice, Nintendo offers to consumers who purchased the respective product in the EEA, UK and Switzerland that repairs for responsiveness syndrome relating to control sticks will be conducted at no charge by official Nintendo repair centres. This applies even if the syndrome is caused by wear and tear and even if the 24-month manufacturer’s warranty provided by Nintendo has expired. The manufacturer’s warranty does not affect any statutory rights which you may have under consumer protection legislation as the purchaser of goods. The benefits described here are in addition to those rights.
Challenges with Joycon Repairs
Nintendo has stated that it has the right to reject free repairs if the cause of the fault is due to unofficial modification or unrelated to the stick defect. However, for those experiencing Joy-Con drift, Switch owners in the territories mentioned above can now get free repairs. The company has faced criticism regarding this issue since the early stages of the Switch’s release. Wear and tear of the analogue sticks’ mechanism can cause false inputs, making gameplay frustrating or impossible.
Nintendo has faced legal challenges in different territories over this defect and has introduced a policy in some regions for free repairs regardless of warranty status. Increased pressure from the European Union and consumer groups has led to addressing the issue.
Previously, Switch owners in the UK and Europe (outside France) were unable to send their controllers for free repairs after the warranty expired. Nintendo has compared the wear of the analogue stick mechanism to how car tires wear over time, stating it is “unavoidable.” Reports from a former repairs supervisor in the US have called the volume of Joy-Con controllers arriving for repair “very stressful.”