Sony settles on claim that Xperia devices “deceptively advertised as waterproof” – US owners invited to claim refund

by XB on 22nd August 2017

in Problems


Sony Mobile USA has decided to settle on alleged claims that some of its Xperia smartphones and tablets were “deceptively advertised as waterproof”. The class action lawsuit opens up Xperia owners based in the USA to receive a partial refund on their device, if it suffered water damage whilst in warranty and refused repair.

The lawsuit was initially filed by Logan Landes and James Goddard, back in January 2016, alleging that certain Sony Mobile devices misrepresented as “waterproof,” but are, in fact, “not waterproof and are not designed for or capable of ordinary underwater use.”

They went further, saying that “Sony exploited certain international water resistance ratings in order to launch a deceptive marketing campaign promoting the Devices” and cite numerous advertisements. This is something we covered a couple of years ago now, when Sony u-turned on a lot of its marketing material, highlighting that its devices were no longer water proof.

Sony says it has done no wrong and denies that its Xperia devices are defective, but it will settle the class action before matters are decided by the court. As a result, if your Sony Xperia phone suffered water-related damage, which Sony refused to fix under warranty, then you can claim a 50% refund of the device’s recommended retail price at launch.

Sony is also offering an automatic warranty extension for 12 months if your phone is still in warranty, and by 6 months for out-of-warranty devices.

While this class action is only available to those in the United States, it would be interesting to know what kind of liability Sony would face if this was opened to all customers worldwide. The US market for Sony Xperia devices has always been small, which is why the company perhaps feels it can afford to settle in this case. If you’ve suffered water damage from using an IP rated Xperia device in the past, let us know in the comments below.

If you reside in the USA and own one of the phones below, then you can make a claim by following this link. The deadline to submit claims is 30 January 2018.

Sony Xperia devices included in settlement

Xperia M2 Aqua
Xperia M4 Aqua
Xperia ZR
Xperia Z Ultra
Xperia Z1
Xperia Z1 Compact
Xperia Z1s (T-Mobile)
Xperia Z2
Xperia Z3
Xperia Z3 Compact
Xperia Z3 (T-Mobile)
Xperia Z3v (Verizon)
Xperia Z3 Dual
Xperia Z3+
Xperia Z3+ Dual
Xperia Z5
Xperia Z5 Compact

Xperia Z2 Tablet (Wi-Fi)
Xperia Z2 Tablet (LTE)
Xperia Z2 Tablet (Verizon LTE)
Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (Wi-Fi)
Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (LTE)
Xperia Z4 Tablet (Wi-Fi)
Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE)

Via Phone Arena.

Thanks Diogo and KF!

  • PoweredBySony

    Yup, it happened to me wit the xperia z5 and i haven’t put the phone under water just washing the screen under the tap water. The flap was sealed and after a few moments i saw my phone turning off, when i wanted to turn it on again it just vibrate and turn of again so i pulled out the flap and saw that water drops were coming out of the phone. I was lucky because after 2 days of very hot weather and no usage the phone somehow came back to life but the front and back camera were not usable anymore and so was the sd card slot (i mean the slot not the card). The back camera was back to normal after another 2 days and the front camera after 3 months but the sd card slot never recovered. Too bad for me that the phone was bought from Germany and the warranty was available only there so i had to “pray” that the phone will recover without loosing the money.

  • What are they doing with phone in water? My Z3+ was under water more then 10 times(in pool,washbasin,bath…) and it works perfectly,no problems…

  • Prince Mensah

    Funny thing is when I saw the list of phones what occurred to me first was No Android O…but on a more serious note I hope Sony learns from their ereors

  • PatQQ

    I’m sure it affects waterproof functionality if you drop your phone once.

  • Ridzan

    I’m from Malaysia… I use sony Xperia Z, Xperia z ultra, Xperia z2, Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z5… Overall Xperia water resistant awesome in case for normal use… I think all the manufacture of smartphones does not encourage the use of water on or over a long time or many times, the user should be smarter using a waterproof smartphone is for the safety of the device from being exposed to water from continuously damaged … Sony Xperia phone the best smartphone manufacturer… And warranty centre in malaysia very responsible

  • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

    Sony used to advertise their phones being waterproof/resistant. I remember when Xperia V was announced they announced it as water resistant.
    https://youtu.be/6s0ZlB3sFUM?t=1m18s

  • JC
  • Luis

    I have a XZ and I wash it in tap water and submerge to take photos and videos, and so far so good.

    I think this is a great feature, specially to clean the phone. I had two Z3 Compact, and the two came with the sim card port damaged, it didn’t close completely. Thank god I realized it in time before putting the phone under water.

  • COME ONE PEOPLE… Misleading or not, it’s logical that you don’t throw an expensive device into deep water and expect it to be fearless. What do you think? Money falls down from the sky?

  • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

    Oh my.. They clearly say waterproof. yikz…

  • Sagar More

    Mine tooo

  • Battal

    Sony will keep lying until they get your money,
    Best Camera is a lie, 4K display is a lie, Waterproof is a lie, all of it is just an advertising bullshit .

  • kajar9

    4K camera is a lie. Sony’s (cellphone) cameras are decent at best… but never at any point better than the competition.

  • The One

    I’m glad someone finally held Sony accountable for the misleading advertisements. Showing images taken underwater and then claiming the phone isn’t waterproof is just plain stupid.

  • The One

    This has nothing to do with throwing phones into deep water. This is all about Sony’s marketing campaign which shows numerous ways that the phone can get wet or be submerged WHILE IN USE. Then Sony denied warranty claims when the phone failed in real life. Then Sony removed all marketing materials showing the phone being used under water. It reeks of shady business practices.

  • Moisés

    I have never tried it under water.
    My classmate used to have Z1. He said he used under water many times.

    Many units are perfectly sealed, other units are not.
    Many things can lead to this… Scratched glass, damaged frame, old flaps…

    This is main reason I chose Z4 over Z3, flapless usb.

  • JC

    4K display ain’t a lie, it’s just not 4K 24/7.

  • Ederson Baumbach .*.

    I think it was a serious mistake of Sony not to take into account that the open/close USB cover would wear out over time compromising the device’s seal.

    They should have done what I suspect Apple did… Make the device waterproof discreetly, without advertising it, and only advertise after having mastered such technology.

    If only she had shipped a magnetic charger (or the Dockstation), and stimulated its use, this maybe would not have harmed so many customers.

  • Ederson Baumbach .*.

    I think it was a serious mistake for Sony not to take into account that the act of opening and closing the cover of the USB compartment would wear out over time, compromising the device’s fence.

    They should have done what I suspect Apple did… Make the device waterproof discreetly, without advertising it, and only advertise after having mastered such technology.

    If only she had shipped a magnetic charger (or the Dockstation), and stimulated its use, this maybe would not have harmed so many customers.

  • Ron Lufias

    Me too. I’m from Malaysia. Recently my XZ damaged from cracked screen due to fall and water entered the phone during the same day because of the cracked during vacation at Perhentian island. My warranty managed to get all replaced including the cracked screen (due to screen+ warranty included) and most of the component including mainboard, speaker, lens, the list go on. What a fantastic warranty services whick took only 3 weeks. Here’s the images: http://imgur.com/a/ubBIl

  • Svnjay

    That is not true. They never did that.

    They began saying that the phone was not waterproof with the Xperia Z3+. They had never shown the Z3+ underwater.

  • Svnjay

    Keep telling yourself that.

  • iia3ezu

    MIsleading consumers is a very bad idea. If it’s not waterproof, don’t say it is.

    Reminds me of the Nokia Lumia Pureview scandal in 2012. Nokia got caught lying about the phone’s OIS feature in its commercial.

  • Not so fortunate for me, also from Malaysia. I brought my Z5 to a theme park the second time recently, and water went into the device. I suppose the rubber at the SIM card tray degraded so lost the water resistance thing.

    I was well expected to pay for parts replacement, despite being on an “official”-ish extended warranty (got my phone from the official sony centre). However the cost of repairing it exceeds the current price, so I declined. The ridiculous part is that despite being in the warranty period, I was charged for the inspection. I mean, what is the point of offering extended warranty if you are going to charge for everything anyway?

  • erizlovect shahrizal

    Samsung fan detected

  • MoYeung

    No Canada?

  • Kariko

    tbh the Sony Mobile Malaysia authorized service centers(IXSUN) are very crappy, i was charged RM1.1K for repairing Z2 cracked screen while i bought this phone for RM1.3K, i immediately declined it

    if you damaged your xperia by your own, just online order spare parts and repair it by yourself, dont expect it’s waterproof again even if you send it back to authorized service center

  • Ligiammahoney

    Easy90a

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    On tuesday I got a Smart new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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  • Like I said, misleading or not, people shouldn’t take things for granted and perform the obvious. No matter how hard Sony sell their phones as being water proof, we consumers need to use some basic ‘common sense’ as to what is and what is not to do. I agree with you that Sony needs to take responsibility for giving out false advertisement (not completely, but definitely there), but we as consumers or human beings need to stop acting stupid and just go with the flow.

  • AllanKafka

    Or otherwise Sony might have just accepted to repair damaged devices instead of refusing to fix them under warranty. :)

  • V.

    Never had issue with my Xperia Z, in fucking sea water! -.-
    Americans are just dumb, can’t read instructions.

  • sending it back to the authorized service centre to ensure water-resistance is the point, isn’t it lol

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    4K camera doesn’t mean its the best. it just 4k capable. its like there’s many 4k tv out there but only few are the best

  • JC

    Maybe not for that model but there are ads for other models, keep reading the comments.

  • JC

    The ads clearly showed it was ok to operate the phones underwater and now the consumer is the one to blame? Ok…

  • Santos

    Thanks usa, now we have less probabilities for water resistance support in the future

  • Lottiersweet

    Deals106g

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!
    On tuesday I got a Smart new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    !ao176:
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  • The One

    What are you talking about?! The video linked in the comments above shows a Z series phone being used underwater. You’re describing exactly what I said. They advertised a water proof phone and then later (around the Z3+ & Z5 series) started retracting all of it to claims that Sony phones were not to be used underwater.

  • Svnjay

    Then there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as they did not advertise the Z3+ as being waterproof then there’s nothing stupid or wrong about that.

  • Sunrise

    because its true. i had m4 aqua. washed it every day with water, had z3 compact and z5 premium and always getting them wet and no problems with them ..NEVER

  • Sunrise

    it happent to me with Samsung S5 who was too water resistant

  • JC

    You were lucky then.

  • Iki

    It was shown in water. Not how far under or for how long.
    In the instructions and on Sonys sites it was stated 1.5 meters for 30 min.
    This in clear water with no added pressure.

  • Iki

    No. As long as you followed the instructions you wouldn’t have any problems with water.
    In all their commercials and on their sites they stated the limits to the waterproofing.

  • Iki

    They were waterproof up to a point. Meaning that they could handle getting under water for the commercials.
    The problem was with people who couldn’t follow instructions.

  • Iki

    Sony has the best camera, has a 4k screen, and is waterproof down to 1.5 meters.
    Don’t know how you could think they were lying.

  • Iki

    Had z, z1, z1 compact, z2, z3 compact, z5, xz and xz premium. All are waterproof within their sited spec.

  • The One

    I’m not sure why you keep singling out the Z3+. As you can see from the list, the entire Z series is being considered for this claim. Besides, the Z3+ wasn’t even sold in the U.S. if I recall correctly.

  • awesomeNOTweather

    agree. I’ve always been a fan of the nokia and sony design. But I have not got into sony until recently with the XZP. It’s the most complete and well designed phone tbh. It feels like a premium phone in the hands.
    In regards to water resistance ip68. People need to remember this is under controlled conditions. Plus the water they use are not the tap/sea/pool water. So the water they use to test is free of any other chemicals (fluorine/salt/cholorine).
    So when you use the phone in those environment, it may be waterproof, but the chemicals can degrade the metal bits as well as the rubber sealing.
    I think tap water is fine, but anything else…best not to

  • awesomeNOTweather

    how old was your phone before it got water damaged?

  • awesomeNOTweather

    It’s hard to judge. I mean the Ip68 tests are done under controlled tests. Now some people when they’re in the pool/sea,etc may have not completely secured the simcard tray, which leads to water ingress. Then they go and complain everywhere.
    Now not saying this is all the case….

  • awesomeNOTweather

    I think this is the problem a lot of people have. They didn’t secure the sim card tray properly and….water damage. THen they have to blame someone and try get their phone/money back.

  • awesomeNOTweather

    Yap. Follow instructions. Easier said than done tbh. I think Sony will need to move to a sim card tray where they need to use a pin to unlock. That way people won’t be able to accidentally leave it opened.

  • awesomeNOTweather

    No their phones can still be used underwater. The problem is it’s ip68. That means 30 min in 1m water (not sure what it is in imperial system).
    Now if you have someone doing more than that…well…who’s fault is that? All the documents that came with the phone outlines this restrictions.
    And note, SOny is not at fault…they have settled outside of court. That’s not admission of guilt, rather, It’s cheaper to settle now than paying both lawyers AND compensation.
    The major argument is the deceptive part where they showed sony under water. Maybe if they had a wording at the bottom that says (30 mins under 1m water), then it will be fine for them. (though people will still do stupid things)

  • awesomeNOTweather

    They never said best camera…they put a lot of their tech there to imply they have the best camera, so their marketing works.
    Their 4k display is true (do you want to be sued for defamation?)
    Waterproof is true(up to 1.5 m in 30 minutes)

  • awesomeNOTweather

    that’s worse, everyone’s flap broke away after 6 months

  • Battal

    No dumpass i’m not sumsum fan and i don’t have be to criticize sony, and guest what? sony is not GOD .

  • Battal

    4K but not 24/7, that would be good advertising slogan for sony :)

  • Battal

    I own Xperia XZ and it’s worst camera,
    and yes they always repeated the stupid slogan “best camera in smartphone”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93xXB5LPs20
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGqfFQdSbIw

  • Brandon Li

    how can Z5 Premium is not included in this list?! my Z5 Premium was really damage by water while in the pool with all flaps close tight!!

  • about a year and eight months, but I have to said it survived water theme park very well last year though

  • JC

    It sounds dumb but that’s the reality, display is 4K capable but it’s only used for certain apps because the system environment isn’t suitable for such resolution.

  • skrug

    Wonder why the Z5 is included considering they changed the marketing after Z3+,

  • Shakeel Mohammed

    Mines was destroyed after a few months in the pool the screen is bad and i think the board because it comes on and shuts off the screen is really dim as well

  • The One

    People aren’t filing lawsuits against sony because they used the phone while deep sea diving. Just as you assume Sony settled to avoid paying more, the average person isn’t going to hire expensive lawyers to sue a multi-billion company just because they did something “stupid” with their phone. These people are filing legitimate claims for the phone failing under normal usage. Do you really think Sony would pay this much money if the plaintiffs had clearly misused the phones?

  • The One

    See my reply above – these lawsuits are not from people acting “stupid” – sony never would have settled if that were true.

  • Ron Lufias

    That’s unfortunate. To which center did you sent? I sent it down to Sony Curve, they didn’t charge for even inspection. And yes, the repair center they sent to IXSUN, and I keep contacting them to ensure if there any hidden or extra charges and when will it be done, what kind of services of component did they replace. Afterwards, I received the repair letter with all replaced components with free of charges.

  • argh, that sucks, I sent mine to the curve too
    was it within the original 1 year warranty, or the additional extended warranty? mine happened during the extended warranty period, which is essentially useless.

  • Ron Lufias

    Yes, it is within the original 1 years warranty. Plus I got covered with screen+ warranty by IXSUN. But, with extended warranty they should cover it, unless there’s some hidden terms and condition they didn’t mentioned. Sucks though.

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