Toshiba to pony up $1 billion settlement

Toshiba, the best-selling portable computer manufacturer, agreed this week to a $1 billion settlement where buyers of the company's portable computers will be eligible for any combination of software fixes, new hardware, and $100 to $225 in coupons. Buyers of newer machines may be eligible for a complete refund.

The settlement is the result of a class action lawsuit brought against the company alleging that the floppy-disk controller in Toshiba machines is faulty, causing loss of information. Toshiba, which will not admit legal liability as a result of the settlement, faced a loss of up to $5 billion had the case gone to trial.

"Toshiba is not aware of any instance in which one of our computer owners has experienced data loss or data corruption under the circumstances described in the lawsuit, and we were prepared to vigorously defend the lawsuit," the company announced late last week.

Over 5 million Toshiba products are affected by the settlement. This figure represents virtually ever laptop that the company has shipped since 1985. A new floppy drive controller will appear in Toshiba machines beginning next week

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