Larger hard drives fail more often

Seagate class action lawsuit: Certain 3TB HDDs fail more often than promised

In the US, customers have filed a class action lawsuit against hard drive manufacturer Seagate. The allegation is that certain HDD models had a much higher failure rate than was advertised. The failure rate was also high for the replacement shipped by the manufacturer.

The class action brought before a US court in California is represented by the company Hagens Berman, which is based on such class-action litigations is specialized. Details of the lawsuit are posted on the company's website. Accordingly, it is specifically about the models Seagate Barracuda 3TB (internal) and Seagate Backup Plus 3TB (external). With these hard drives it is criticized that "the error rate of the drives turned out to be significantly higher than advertised“.

According to investigations by Hagens Berman, the replacement devices sent by Seagate would also have "Defects" and a "extremely high“Failure rate shown, which means that Seagate's guarantee promises have not been fulfilled. Due to the defects, customers would have unexpectedly "Lots of data" lost. The main allegation, however, is that the "advertised promise“Seagate has not complied with them and this violates consumer laws. Affected US customers can use a form to contact the law firm to help with the investigation and to be eligible for possible compensation payments.

Class action lawsuit follows controversial backblaze stats

With regard to the supposedly high failure rates of some Seagate HDD models, the online backup service Backblaze had already given Seagate a bad reputation with studies in advance. The studies are also used in the class action (PDF). According to Backblaze, the Seagate models tested would have failed significantly more often than competitors' models in several tests. The surveys are controversial, however, because in some cases conventional desktop models from Seagate were compared with enterprise or NAS models from HGST and Western Digital and this in an application scenario that is not intended for conventional desktop HDDs. Thus, the comparison was simply not fair and is therefore not very meaningful.

Seagate is the second largest hard drive manufacturer in the world behind Western Digital and delivered almost 46 million HDDs in the past quarter.

  • Michael Günsch email
    ... has been writing about PC hardware such as graphics cards, monitors and SSDs as well as about research, games and business since 2009.