eMachines - the PC maker that is being sued by Apple over its iMac lookalike - has become the latest company to be slapped with a class-action lawsuit accusing the vendor of knowingly selling PCs containing defective floppy disk drive components.

Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer. and Packard Bell NEC confirmed receiving similar complaints last week.

The lawsuits, filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont division, represent all customers who bought allegedly faulty PCs from the four companies. The suits accuse the PC makers of knowingly selling PCs with faulty floppy disk controllers and of trying to conceal that fact from customers.

A floppy disk controller regulates data as it flows to and from a PC's storage system. The allegedly faulty components can result in data being corrupted, or erased, without a user's knowledge, according to the lawsuits.

eMachines received its complaint this morning, and is still reviewing the allegations; it has no comment to make at this time, a company spokeswoman said today. HP and Packard Bell NEC have also declined to comment on the suits, while Compaq last week called the allegations "baseless" and said it will contest them vigorously.

The lawsuit adds to the company’s legal worries - Apple filed a lawsuit against eMachines on August 19, claiming that the company’s eOne PC was an illegal rip-off of the iMac.