Vizio Settles for $3 Million Over Effective Refresh Rate Claims: California TV Buyers May Cash In

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In a class-action settlement approved by a California court, Vizio will pay $3 million to resolve allegations that it misled consumers about the refresh rates of its televisions. The lawsuit centered around Vizio’s use of the term “effective refresh rate,” which it employed to advertise certain TVs as having higher refresh rates than their actual hardware specs could support.

Key Highlights:

  • Vizio agrees to pay $3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit regarding misleading refresh rate advertising.
  • California residents who purchased eligible Vizio TVs between 2014 and 2019 may be eligible for payouts.
  • The lawsuit challenged Vizio’s use of the term “effective refresh rate,” which critics argued exaggerated TVs’ actual refresh capabilities.
  • Payouts are expected to be small,┬ápotentially ranging from $17 to $50 per claimant.
  • The settlement also requires Vizio to discontinue using “effective refresh rate” in its advertising.

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The lawsuit, filed in 2018, claimed that Vizio’s “effective refresh rate” marketing was deceptive, as it relied on image processing techniques to create the illusion of smoother motion rather than actually displaying content at a higher refresh rate. This, the plaintiffs argued, violated California’s unfair competition laws and misled consumers into believing they were purchasing TVs with superior performance.

While Vizio denies any wrongdoing and maintains that its marketing practices were truthful, it opted to settle the lawsuit to avoid the costs and uncertainties of a potentially lengthy trial. Under the terms of the settlement, California residents who purchased a Vizio TV advertised as having a “120Hz effective refresh rate” or “240Hz effective refresh rate” between April 30, 2014, and December 31, 2019, may be eligible for a payout. The exact amount each claimant receives will depend on the number of valid claims filed and could range from $17 to $50.

The settlement also requires Vizio to stop using the term “effective refresh rate” in its advertising moving forward. This effectively puts an end to a marketing tactic that has been criticized by consumer advocates and tech reviewers alike for inflating the perceived performance of TVs.

Impact on Consumers:

While the individual payouts from this settlement are likely to be modest, the case serves as a reminder for consumers to be cautious of marketing claims that don’t align with the technical specifications of a product. It also reinforces the importance of researching products thoroughly before making a purchase, particularly when it comes to complex technical features like refresh rates.

Consumers can find more information on the Vizio “effective refresh rate” settlement and how to submit a claim by visiting the official settlement website: [Insert link to settlement website].


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Joshua Bartholomew

A casual guy with no definite plans for the day, he enjoys life to the fullest. A tech geek and coder, he also likes to hack apart hardware. He has a big passion for Linux, open source, gaming and blogging. He believes that the world is an awesome place and we're here to enjoy it! He's currently the youngest member of the team. You can contact him at