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Canon faces $5m lawsuit over printer that stops scanning when the ink runs out

According to a class-action complaint filed in a US federal court, plaintiff David Leacraft discovered his Canon Pixma MG6320 multifunction inkjet home printer would not scan or fax documents when it was out of ink. 

1 Canon PIXMA MG6320 Black Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier
 Canon PIXMA MG6320 Colour Printer with Scanner and Copier

The complaint alleges that Canon USA promotes its all-in-one printers as having multiple features including printing, copying, scanning and sometimes faxing, but does not alert customers that those features are dependent on certain levels of ink being available. 

“Canon does not represent or warn consumers that ink is a necessary component in order to scan or fax documents,” the complaint said. “As a result, consumers are forced to incur unexpected and unnecessary burden and expense in the form of ink purchases or in the alternative be unable to scan or fax documents using the so-called all-in-one device. 

“There is no reason or technical basis for manufacturing the All-in-One Printers with an ink level detection function that causes the scanner to stop functioning when ink is low or empty. Canon designed the All-in-One Printers in such a way to require consumers to maintain ink in their devices regardless of whether they intend to print. The result is an increase in ink sales from which Canon obtains significant profits.”

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The class-action complaint, filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, includes more than 100 people and is seeking at least $5,000,000. It alleges over 20 models of Canon all-in-one printers have the same problem. 

Legal analysts say if the court allows the complaint to go ahead, anyone who purchased one of the all-in-one Canon models could be eligible for compensation.

According to US tech website Bleeping Computer, the issue dates back to 2016 when other customers reported the problem to Canon and were told by the company that all ink cartridges must be installed and contain ink to access all of the printer’s features.