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Summary:

Nest’s base and faceplate heat up, distorting the device’s temperature readings, according to a class action lawsuit.

nest_celsius_cooling

A disgruntled customer is suing Nest, claiming that the company’s popular line of home thermostats are defective because they heat up and fail to measure a room’s actual temperature.

In a complaint filed this week in San Jose, Maryland man Justin Darisse said he bought the device on Amazon for $249.99 after seeing Nest promotional videos that suggested it would save him money, but that faulty temperature readings caused him to actually pay more for energy costs:

Nest’s base and faceplate heat up, which causes Nest’s temperature reading to be from two to ten degrees higher than the actual ambient temperature in the surrounding room. This defect prevents the thermostat from working properly. As a result, Nest users do not experience the advertised energy savings.

The lawsuit, which asks a court grant class action status, points to video images like the one below to claim Nest did not work as promised:

Nest ad screenshot

The complaint seeks more than $5 million on behalf of hundreds of thousands of other Nest buyers over alleged the company’s alleged violation warranty and consumer protection laws. Nest, which was acquired by Google in January, declined to comment.

Nest has won plaudits for its stylish design and use of smart sensors to improve home energy efficiency. If the lawsuit is successful, however, it could hurt its reputation among cost-conscious consumers like Darisse, who stated that “he would have continued to use his traditional Honeywell Thermostat that retails for around $30.00″ had he known about the alleged defect.

According to the complaint, many Nest customers have taken to online comment boards to complain about different temperature readings between Nest devices and other home thermostats. It also states an advertising body told Nest to stop making certain claims such as a promise that its device can “cut AC runtime up to 30 percent.”

You can read the complaint, which was spotted by Law360, for yourself here (I’ve marked up some of the relevant bits):

This story was updated at 3:44pm ET to say that the complaint seeks at least $5 million, not $500 million, from Nest.

Nest Class Action

  1. Translation – “I messed the device up and now I’m going to sue you because I cannot possibly be wrong.”

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  2. A Ch0w, sneeze Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    Translation: Now that they are owned by someone with cash, let’s make them pay up.

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    1. Or, you know, the device has an actual issue?

      “Nest’s base and faceplate heat up, which causes Nest’s temperature reading to be from two to ten degrees higher than the actual ambient temperature in the surrounding room.”

      This sounds pretty damn major to me.

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      1. A Ch0w, sneeze Wednesday, March 26, 2014

        Now I understand why my heart rate monitor has a disclaimer saying the readings could be inaccurate. To avoid frivolous lawsuits.

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      2. A Ch0w, sneeze Wednesday, March 26, 2014

        Also what’s the point of a return policy and warranty if you are going to get sued anyway?

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      3. Having the same issue with the base plate heating up! 6 months of calling the nest techs and still having issues!

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  3. Lawyers smelling bloo .. er cash.

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  4. I don’t know anything about my Nest heating up but there are problems with it:

    1) The target temperature has to be the same for an hour, minimum. So you can’t set it to come up in the evening (say when you’re coming home late) and then immediately cool off. So when I get home late and then go right to bed I have to turn the temperature down myself — my old Honeywell programmable thermostat did better. This costs me more fuel than the Honeywell did.

    2) If you run a wood stove, it believes you haven’t run the furnace because the day is warmer. I.e. it only compares the inside temperature with previous inside temperatures, rather than using the outside temperature (which it monitors even if it doesn’t use) to compute your norm.

    I complained to Nest about both of these when I first bought it (a year and a half ago). I even posted on their web blog. My concerns were never addressed and my posts were deleted!!

    I like my Nest for the web component primarily (and it IS beautiful), but its claims about itself don’t hold up as far as I can tell against other programmable thermostats…maybe they save money for people who never had a programmable one in the first place.

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  5. I think it is nonsense. My nest thermostat has saved me tons of money. Sure, if I sit there and play with it a little bit it does heat up a little, and the air might kick on for a few minutes unnecessarily — but I am not constantly activating it, so it doesn’t get a chance to heat up and cause any problem. This user just doesn’t understand how this thing works.

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    1. Essentially what you just said:

      “Sure, it’s flawed and doesn’t work as advertised, but this guy can’t expect things to actually live up to their hype!”

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  6. Mine in 2-6 degrees higher than an indoor thermometer mounted right next to it unless I disable wi-fi. Not a problem in winter, but I could see this costing me more in the summer if I don’t fiddle with the settings. Unfortunately it’s not consistent. If it were always, say five degrees off then I could tell it that I want it to be 75, not 70 inside.

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    1. What’s in a number ? Change the language to Klingon and adjust the stat to your comfort. You will find peace, tranquility and so long as the balance is set to max savings and the away feature is activated you will save on heating and cooling energy costs. It’s almost impossible not to.

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  7. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  8. Nest Gen 1 user here (since Mar 2012)

    Mine reads accurately and works precisely as intended. It absolutely saves me $ due in large part to the auto-away function.

    #anecdotalevidencesucks

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  9. Really, do not care. I control my thermostat manually. It saved me a lot of money :)

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  10. My Nest is extremely accurate and the Auto Away function is brilliant. I am able to last WEEKS more on a propane fill up than with my Honeywell.

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    1. Wow, some pretty biased comments here, some suspiciously from non-Nest owners I would suspect! I had similar problems as Darisse, but with a wildly overpriced (but cool looking) $250 temperature sensing device, it never occurred to me a fundamental aspect of its functionality might be flawed. I did however since test it using two different devices using two different techniques – yup. Off by up to 4C (7F) to ambient temperature, and yes the body of it emits heat. So the Nest Protect can’t protect and the Nest Thermostat can’t read a temperature. I think I see a flaw in their business model. It the thing cost me $30, I’d chalk it up to inferior technology. But..uhm..$250 premium device which can’t read the proper temperature? That’s embarassing. If only “looking cool” could manage my home’s temperature, we’d be good to go.

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