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Canon Sued For Disabling Scanner when Printer is Out of Ink

Canon is being sued for not allowing customers to use scan or fax functions in multifunction devices if many printer models run out of ink. David Leacraft has filed a class-action lawsuit against Canon USA, alleging that the company was involved in deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment.

Leacraft decided to take legal action after discovering that a Pixma MG2522 printer she had purchased, advertised as an “all-in-one” machine, would not function as a scanner when the ink cartridges were low or empty. In addition, the fax capabilities did not work when some printers were also low on power.Ink is not required to perform scanning or faxing documents, so the complaint stresses these features should function regardless of ink levels. As such, the lawsuit, which involves more than 100 class members, seeks at least $5,000,000 in awards.

One of the alleged violations in the complaint includes unjust enrichment; the lawsuit states that Canon has disabled these functions to increase profits by selling replacement ink cartridges.Other alleged violations listed in the complaint are New York General Business Law § 349 and 350, Canon breaching its express warranties, and failure to disclose material information.

According to a 2018 Consumer Reports article, inkjet printers are being sold at a low cost, with the expectation that companies would make their profit through sales of the ink cartridges needed for the functioning of the machines. Most printers are sold at a loss. A manufacturer makes moneyby selling the supplies needed to print.

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