Back in 2017, some original Pixels and Pixel XLs started experiencing microphone failures — theorized to be due to a hairline crack in the mic's solder. Google RMA-ed these devices, but the problem persisted in some replacement phones too, and a class action lawsuit was filed the following year. We now have word that Google has agreed to settle this lawsuit for $7,250,000 pending final court approval.

Both parties agreeing to the terms of the settlement

Who's eligible for a pay-out?

Any US Pixel or Pixel XL user who:

  1. Bought a phone manufactured before January 4th, 2017
  2. Joins the settlement by July 9th, 2019 (60 days from the May 10th notice)
  3. Can provide proof of purchase, or was contacted directly by the Settlement Administration about the lawsuit

How much compensation can they expect?

The $7.25M that Google will pay into a Settlement Fund will go toward administrative costs, attorney fees (up to 30% of the amount), service awards to the four class representatives ($5000 each), and finally to Pixel users. There will be four categories, with different compensation levels.

  1. $500: If you experienced the defect in more than one device — the original phone, and any devices received in RMA
  2. $350: If you experienced the defect in one phone
  3. Up to $20: If you didn't experience the defect on your Pixel, but would like to be included in the lawsuit
  4. If you paid your insurance company a deductible, you will receive the entire amount (in addition to any of the categories above)

How do you become a claimant?

The settlement still needs to be ratified by the court (the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California), but since both parties seem to have agreed, it's likely to be approved. Post-approval, the attorneys (Girard Sharp LLP and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP) will publish forms needed to be filled up, but the draft of the settlement agreement mentions they will be looking for proofs of having experienced the defect, such as customer service chat logs, repair records, insurance claims, RMA confirmations, and emails.

You can sign up for updates on this case, but their website is currently down (possibly due to eager Pixel users?). For more information, dig into the details of the settlement by reading through the settlement notice (10 pages) and the draft of the settlement agreement (51 pages).

Filing claims

We've been following the Pixel class action lawsuit for the last few months, and things are finally shaking out. The settlement website is live, allowing owners of the 2016 Pixel phones to get a little (or a lot of) cash. Best case, you could get $500 if you had multiple Pixels with defective microphones. For just one defect, you could get $350. If you paid an insurance deductible to replace the device, Google will refund you. For everyone else, you can still get $20 even if your Pixel was fine.

To file a claim, you'll need the device's IMEI number and documents proving you had microphone or speaker issues. You have until October 7th to file.