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Author Topic: Recent Lenovo ThinkPad laptops have a problem with defective Thunderbolt Controllers  (Read 2691 times)


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Since 2018, most ThinkPads bank on USB C as the sole charging connector. For users, USB C has many advantages over proprietary connectors. Right now though, Lenovo has some problems with the USB C connectors in the ThinkPads, as they sometimes fail due to faulty Thunderbolt Controllers.


  • Guest
And it should be noted, that if the laptop is out of warranty, Lenovo will charge you for the motherboard replacement, even though the user is not at fault. Such a scam


  • Guest
And it should be noted that the Lenovo Vantage support tool does not update the thunderbolt controller firmware automatically which is an impossible situation for normal users to understand!

This a real discrace, thinkpad quality is completely gone.

Check the T480 and T490 thermal throttling problems too. These laptops with newest updates drop CPU clocks in a dock to 200-400MHz levels on NORMAL desktop workday usage. This has been going on with 1.5 years without a fix! And no this is not a problem of one single thinkpad but several. Disappointing totally...


  • Guest
It is a total shame for lenovo for leaving the customers whose had the warranty expired just a few month ago with the problem, especially as the customer has no impact at all to the failure... It is bad design problem.

Responsible companies like toyota fix their cars for free if there is a common problem found even if the car is 8 - 10 year old !


  • Guest
It should also be noted that the firmware update only mitigates the problem until the hardware fails for good (when warranty is exipired?)

See further discussion on


  • Guest
These problems happen after a firmware update to the Thunderbolt 3 controller on the motherboard. Where I work, we have had well over 200 cases where Lenovo had to replace the motherboard. Haven't had any issues with the T470 as we use port replicators for that model. But definitely the T480s and T490s.


  • Guest
I am on my third carbon X1 unit for this issue and my 5th mainboard. Constant issues with HDMI and thunderbolt ports. To Lenovo's credit, the on site support has been okay, but I dread to think what my experience would have been if I had to send it away each time. I've had other issues with these laptops in the same period and would never buy Lenovo again.


  • Guest
all the way I thought is the adaptor until one day iI use another brand, found out the problem is Lenovo, dont know if this issue can ask lenovo to repair without a fee


  • Guest
As a sad X1E user my model (along with P1, both old and new gen) wasn't even listed. 6 mth into use and couldnt fast charge on Windows 10. Linux seemed fine but I main windows. Just had the motherboard replaced, same crud...I wonder they just gave up support on X1E / P1's controller firmware completely

Dan Ridenhour

  • Guest
Yea...  I haven't had this problem (yet) but from what I've read it sounds like even with the firmware fix its inevitable...  Lenovo as usual just tries to kick t he can down the road until the warranty has expired.    After the nonsense 4k screen issues with the Yoga 720 I swore off anything except thinkpad from Lenovo... now it looks like Lenovo needs to be off the list entirely.  Which is a shame as I love the track point and not a lot of choices there.

Dan Ridenhour

  • Guest
So basically they threw out their established docking system in favor of TB3... which is a great port and other venders are doing great things with it...   but they manage to muck it up in a way its not evens software but requires a MB exchange...     and Lenovo has an established pattern now (from my experience) of not fixing the product... just kicking the problem down the line til the warranty expires and expecting you to buy new.   They can get away with that for a while but their corporate customers won't.   They expect lifecycles out of their thinkpads.

Dan Ridenhour

  • Guest
So...   last updated on the 13th with a TB3 firmware update via advantage...    advantage showing now available crit, rec, opt udpates.    so ticking time bomb?     Hmm...   my TB3 dock 'died' a couple months ago...   maybe it didn't maybe the TP did.  Haven't replaced the dock yet so can't test.   

Noel A.

  • Guest
Too little, too late. My x1c 5th Gen stopped charging and I replaced the Mobo. Doubt Lenovo will refund me for the cost of replacing the motherboard.


  • Guest
I noticed very early that charging from one of the two ports made my X1 tablet 3rd gen soon very hot. So i always charge through the other. Maybe this issue is related. Both my c-ports work fine until now.

Something should br finally said about the trackpoint huge scandal. Most new Thinkpads suffer from problematic trackpoint drifting that makes trackpoint use impossible. It is unbelievable they dont fix it and that they dont care wasting one huge advantage over competition.


  • Guest
Also had issues with my x380 thunderbolt, ofc it was out of warranty. the issue was the 8 mbit flash chip where thunderbolt firmware is written, so i,ve replaced it with another flash and worked again. that flash chip is the reason they replace the mobo.


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