December 4, 2022


Capturing Magic Moments

Sony is facing a class action lawsuit over serial number stickers on lenses that have fallen off

3 min read

It appears that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Sony in California. It is claimed that the serial number stickers on Sony lenses have a tendency to peel off. While this does not affect the operation of the product – unlike other class action lawsuits alleging dead A7 III shutters – it does prevent owners from invoking the warranty and obtaining repairs if necessary or participating in product recalls.

Essentially, the declining serial number makes the lens less valuable because if it ever dies, it’s useless. And that’s a big deal, especially with expensive, high-end G-Master series lenses. Plaintiff, Joseph Mursharbash, claims to have experienced exactly this situation as it is simply a poor quality sticker that falls off easily. And during a Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens product recall, its serial number was nowhere to be found.

The position where the serial number should be on the Sony 16-35mm GM lens

Mursharbash’s claim is that Sony’s 16-35mm lens has been recalled due to possible issues that could affect camera operation if used. Customers have been advised that if their lens serial number falls within a certain range, “subject to the terms in the limited warranty accompanying the affected lenses, we will warrant your affected lens through 2023/31”. When he checked the serial number on his lens, he saw the following.

The sticker just wasn’t there. It’s easy to see how this can be overlooked in general use of a camera and lens, especially when you don’t really need to know your serial number at the time – which most of us don’t. It’s just something you don’t think about. But when it was needed the sticker seems to have fallen off. This means that not only does Mursharbash not know for sure if his lens is one of the affected ones, but even if it is, he has no option as part of the recall to have Sony fix it. And he claims that his lens actually has problems.

While some camera and lens combos may also store the lens serial number in the EXIF ​​data of pictures taken with it – my Panasonic GH5 does this – says Mursharbash that Sony relies solely on the serial number sticker to validate the warranty. So while it might hypothetically be possible to retrieve the serial number digitally, Sony simply doesn’t. This means that warranty and potential recall services factored into the cost of the lens are worthless.


Some manufacturers store serial numbers of cameras and lenses in the EXIF ​​data. But even when Sony does, the suit claims Sony doesn’t care and she’s just looking at the sticker on the lens

When I look at a few Panasonic, Olympus and Nikon lenses that are available close to my desk, I see that other manufacturers engrave the serial number on the lens barrel or print it on the ring around the mount. To me it seems pretty silly to use a sticker, especially one that’s in a spot that’s particularly prone to being rubbed regularly over the course of its use. But the decision does not lie with me, but with the courts.

It will be interesting to see how big the problem is in the real world and how many people eventually come forward to join the class action lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the matter violates California’s Unfair Competition Act, the Misrepresentation Act and the Consumer Code, as well as breaches of warranty and “unjust enrichment.” The lawsuit seeks litigation for compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

You can read the full suit here.


[via PetaPixel]

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