Owners of Apple, Dell and HP laptops have joined a lawsuit against Nvidia attempting to force the graphics chip maker to replace allegedly flawed processors.
If granted class-action status, the case could involve millions of laptop computer owners, the plaintiffs said.
The five plaintiffs, including a Louisiana man who bought an Apple MacBook Pro a year ago, filed an amended complaint last week in a San Francisco federal court, accusing nVidia of violating consumer-protection laws.
nVidia admitted to the problem in July 2008, when it said some older chipsets that had shipped in "significant quantities" of notebooks were flawed. In a subsequent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company argued that its chip suppliers, the laptop makers and even consumers were to blame.
nVidia later told the SEC that it would take a $196 million charge to pay for replacing the graphics processors.
Apple, Dell and HP have all told users that some of their laptops contain faulty nVidia chipsets. Apple, in fact, in essence said that nVidia had misled it.
"nVidia assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected," Apple said in a support document posted last October.
"However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers... may be affected."
Although Apple promised it would repair any defective MacBook Pro for two years after its purchase date, whether it was in warranty or not, HP and Dell first issued BIOS updates designed by nVidia that boosted fan speed.