HP in class action for bricking scanners and print functions when ink runs low, using less than 50% of ink for actual printing

HP has failed to shunt aside class-action legal claims that it disables the scanners on its multifunction printers when their ink runs low. Though not for lack of trying.

On Aug. 10, a federal judge ruled that HP Inc. must face a class-action lawsuit claiming that the company designs its “all-in-one” inkjet printers to disable scanning and faxing functions whenever a single printer ink cartridge runs low. The company had sought — for the second time — to dismiss the lawsuit on technical legal grounds.

“It is well-documented that ink is not required in order to scan or to fax a document, and it is certainly possible to manufacture an all-in-one printer that scans or faxes when the device is out of ink,” the plaintiffs wrote in their complaint. “Indeed, HP designs its all-in-one printer products so they will not work without ink. Yet HP does not disclose this fact to consumers.”

The lawsuit charges that HP deliberately withholds this information from consumers to boost profits from the sale of expensive ink cartridges.

Color printers require four ink cartridges — one black and a set of three cartridges in cyan, magenta and yellow for producing colors. Some will also refuse to print if one of the color cartridges is low, even in black-and-white mode.

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Worse, a significant amount of ink is never actually used to print documents because it’s consumed by printer maintenance cycles. In 2018, Consumer Reports tested hundreds of all-in-one inkjet printers and found that, when used intermittently, many models delivered less than half of their ink to printed documents. A few managed no more than 20% to 30%.

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Source: HP fails to derail claims that it bricks scanners on multifunction printers when ink runs low | AP News

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