updated 05:10 pm EDT, Tue May 19, 2009
NVIDIA insurer sues
NVIDIA's insurance company, The National Union Fire Insurance Company (NUFI) of Pittsburgh, filed a case in a California district court last week regarding NVIDIA's negotiations and settlement of other lawsuits the company faced from notebook makers regarding NVIDIA's faulty chipsets. In its court statement, NUFI said NVIDIA has "not permitted" it to join in NVIDIA's negotiations of chip claims or to reach other agreements. NVIDIA supplied GPUs to notebook makers that include Apple, ASUS, Compal, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Toshiba, Quanta, Samsung and others, some of which have or still can sue the chipmaker.
NUFI claims NVIDIA has not revealed information it wanted regarding the claims, saying it needs to preserve its commercial relationships with chip claimants. NUFI is asking for objective information that includes records of all repairs made, without which it cannot decide on the fulfillment of the claims.
NVIDIA first informed NUFI of a customer, Dell's, complaints on August 6th, 2008. NVIDIA told NUFI on September 4th, 2008 that Toshiba wanted compensation from the chipmaker, then that Apple asked for the same on September 11. On October 9th, the list included ASUS, Compal, HP, Quanta and Wistron. Samsung was added to the list on October 10th. Fujitsu Siemens asked the chipmaker for damages soon thereafter.
NVIDIA gave NUFI a copy of a settlement agreement between it and Toshiba on January 28th, though the insurer did not agree to this. On January 30th, NUFI was given a copy of a settlement agreement between the chipmaker and Dell for $10 million.
NUFI wants records that prove the manufacturing dates of the notebooks in question, when they were shipped to users, all field failures, repair dates and affected parts, as well as documented settlement discussions and estimations of claim exposure.
With these requests, NUFI is seeking the court to declare it has no responsibility to indemnify NVIDIA because the chipmaker breached the terms of its agreement with the insurer.
NVIDIA's chip issues relate to its GeForce 8400M and 8600M series of graphics chips suffering from long-term heat damage. The chipmaker's non-eutectic (higher melting point) soldered contact bumps give out and produce blank screens and other video errors that have caused recalls. [via TGDaily]