Apple has been landed with a class action lawsuit, claiming that the company knew its latest iPod had manufacturing problems but released the products onto the market anyway.

The lawsuit, lodged in California, seeks to represent 125,000 owners of the iPod nano. It claims the Nano is defectively designed to the extent that the screen is easily and swiftly damaged with normal use. It claims the wear renders the device unusable.

"The suit charges that Apple violated implied and expressed warranties when it began selling what plaintiffs claim are defective devices, and violated aspects of state consumer protection laws," the lawyers said in a statement.

Apple executives have previously responded to consumer complaints about excessive scratching and broken screens by saying the screens are made with the same material found in its fourth-generation iPod, which, to date, is complaint free.

Apple has recommended users purchase an iPod nano case to prevent scratches.