HP is facing a class action lawsuit alleging that the company designs its multifunction inkjet printers to disable scanning and faxing functions when their ink runs low, even though ink is not required for these functions. The lawsuit also alleges that HP does not disclose this fact to consumers.
On August 10, a federal judge ruled that HP must face the lawsuit, rejecting the company’s request to dismiss it on technical grounds. This is the second time that HP has tried to dismiss the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that HP deliberately disables scanning and faxing functions in order to boost profits from the sale of expensive ink cartridges. Ink cartridges are one of the most profitable products that HP sells, and the company has been accused of using a variety of tactics to lock consumers into buying its ink.
The lawsuit cites evidence that HP has designed its printers to prevent them from working with third-party ink cartridges. HP has also been accused of misleading consumers about the ink levels of its cartridges. In some cases, printers have been known to stop working even when the ink cartridges are not actually empty.
The HP printer ink scandal is not new. In 2018, Consumer Reports found that many all-in-one inkjet printers deliver less than half of their ink to printed documents. A few managed no more than 20% to 30%. In other words, a significant amount of ink is never actually used to print documents.
HP is not the only printer company that has been accused of these practices. In 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Canon for similar allegations. The parties settled the case in late 2022, but the terms were not disclosed.
The sources for this piece include an article in ABCNews.