Spotify Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Bricked Car Thing

Spotify faces class action lawsuit over bricked Car Thing
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Spotify faces class action lawsuit over bricked Car Thing
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Photo Credit: Spotify

Spotify is facing a class action lawsuit from consumers who purchased the Car Thing—which the company has announced it will no longer support.

Plaintiffs Hamza Mazumder, Anthony Bracarello, and Luke Martin have brought the class action complaint against Spotify for anyone who purchased the Spotify Car Thing between 2019 and 2024. “All of the claims herein arise out of Spotify’s decision to unilaterally and withour recourse cut off its support of the Car Thing and announce its plan to terminate its functionality on December 9, 2024,” the lawsuit reads.

The plaintiffs allege that they would not have purchased the Car Thing had they known Spotify would discontinue support “within just a few months or years of purchase,” calling it functional for a “commercially unreasonable period of time.” They also allege Spotify misrepresented the Car Thing by omitting its intention to “prematurely render the Car Thing obsolete.”

Spotify announced its intentions to distribute the Car Thing in 2019 as a way for it to gather listening data from people who own cars that may not have an infotainment system. The product was made available in the U.S. market in 2021. “No matter the year or model of your vehicle, we feel everyone should have a superior listening experience,” marketing materials for Car Thing read.

While Spotify has initially said it would not offer refunds to anyone who purchased the Car Thing, it has quietly been giving them out. The r/CarThing subreddit is full of screenshots of reports of people receiving a refund after providing an email receipt for proof they had in fact purchased the Car Thing. According to estimates provided by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek ahead of its launch, more than two million people signed up for the original Car Thing waitlist.

While Spotify has refused to comment on the class action lawsuit, it has provided a statement about its intentions with the device. “The goal of our Car Thing exploration in the U.S. was to learn more about how people listen in the car. In July 2022, we announced we’d stop further production and now it’s time to say goodbye to the devices entirely,” the Spotify spokesperson’s statement reads. “Users will have until December 9, 2024 until all Car Thing devices will be deactivated.”