Microsoft extends Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 warranty as class action looms

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has extended its Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 warranty to one year, amid hardware issues impacting "a small percentage" of users.
  • The extension replaces the former 90-day coverage included alongside the device and retroactively applies to all past controller purchases.
  • It comes as Microsoft faces class-action lawsuit for "drifting joysticks," recently updated to include both generations of the Xbox Elite Controller.

Microsoft has outlined plans to extend its warranty for the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2, the company's premium gamepad, amid reports of issues among buyers. The amendment extends coverage to one year, effective immediately, over the previous 90-day window offered alongside the accessory.

The changes to retroactively apply to all previous Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 shipped since its November 2019 debut, in response to a "small percentage" of users encountering hardware issues. Microsoft also states payments made for repairs outside the previous warranty will be refunded by October 31, 2020.

Microsoft's original Xbox Elite Controller was notorious for long-term durability issues, with peeling grips, faulty bumpers, and stick drift among common issues voiced by buyers. The second-generation design undoubtedly reinforced its souped-up controller, but the former warranty neglected many returning troubles.

"We've received claims that a small percentage of our customers are experiencing mechanical issues when using their Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2," Microsoft stated via the Xbox Support website. "To ensure your satisfaction, we're extending the warranty coverage period on Elite Series 2 controllers from 90 days to 1 year from the date of purchase."

Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 Warranty, Xbox Support

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Elite Series 2 owners expressed concerns from launch, with sticky or unresponsive buttons, inconsistent connectivity, and drifting thumbsticks among prominent issues. "We are aware that a small number of users may be experiencing issues with the Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 and are actively investigating with our engineering teams," Microsoft told Windows Central in November 2019. "We encourage any customers who experience issues with their hardware to contact Xbox Support."

But this extended warranty comes as Microsoft faces a class-action lawsuit for "drifting joysticks," with plaintiffs alleging a known hardware flaw saw controller thumbsticks develop unwanted movement over time. The lawsuit, first filed back in April, was recently updated to include both the Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Elite Controller Series 2, providing a likely motive for the sudden change.

"Microsoft does not disclose to consumers that the Xbox controllers are defective, causing the joystick component to fail. Members of the general public have the right to know the latent defects with the Xbox controller components," the lawsuit states. The complaint also impacts other Xbox One controllers outside the Elite series.

The ongoing lawsuit seeks monetary compensation from Redmond, along with a public injunction, pushing the company to notify controller owners about the alleged defect.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.