I only recently learned of the lawsuit that had been filed against Hitachi in federal court in Dallas seeking class-action status (http://www.reuters.com/article/press...08+PRN20080829
) regarding the horrible way in which customers like myself who had spent thousands of dollars buying Hitachi LCD TVs have been treated after discovering a manufacturer's defect in the television. But I wasn't surprised. The company's callous disregard in this situation for the thousands of customers who had bought its LCD TVs was bound to catch up with them sooner or later.
In my case, I own a 60V500A, which cost more than $3,000. I began noticing that in one part of the screen, the picture was appearing read and blurry. I called Hitachi and was told that the lamp needed replacing. So I spent the money on a new lamp and installed it, only to find the problem still there. I then went online and was absolutely stunned to read literally thousands of posts on numerous websites from angry Hitachi customers who had invested a lot of money in a variety of Hitachi LCD models, only to have the same problem. It's a failure of the optical engine which produces what is called "blooming" on the screen.
So I called a Hitachi-authorized service center to get a repair cost estimate, and they said they needed to see the TV to vefify the problem and give an accurate estimate. They charged $60 to come out and confirmed the problem. They also verified that it was a manufacturer's defect in the optical engine, and that Hitachi had been well aware of the problem since they first started manufacturing these units. When I told them that when the problem originally started, Hitachi said it was the light engine, he smiled and shook his head and said they knew what the problem was. They also told me Hitachi was providing no more new optical engines, so I'd have to buy a refurbished engine for $450 and the total repair cost would be around $800.
I called Hitachi back and asked why, if they had known about the problem since the beginning, that they told me the problem was the lamp, but was given no answer. I said that since it was a defect in manufacturing that they were well aware of, what would they do for me, and they responded absolutely nothing because the TVs 12-month warranty had expired! Now that explanation might work for a random problem that crops up, but not a manufacturer's defect that they had known about from the beginning but done nothing to address. Just as with automakers, even when warranties have expired on cars, they issue recalls to correct problems that are manufacturers defects---it's just the right thing to do.
So here I sit with a $3,000+ TV that I already have to replace. Hitachi has done incredible damagae to their reputation in consumer electronics by their actions here---all you have to do is go online and enter 50V500, or 60V500 or the other model numbers to discover that. I've heard that they are getting out of the HDTV business, which is just as well. We don't need companies like this in the marketplace. Attorney Eric Pearson of Heygood, Orr, Reyes, Pearson, and Bartolomei, who represents the plaintiff, said, "Hitachi has been more than willing to take people's money for these TV sets and they should be more than willing to fix them. In some cases, people paid $3,500 or more for these TVs. You can't take that kind of money and deliver a defective product." Exactly, or expect that consumers will EVER buy your products again after being treated like this. Glad to hear they're getting out of the HDTV market---others won't have to suffer their horrendous treatment.