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Was the unit dropped or were any liquids messed onto the lens assembly previously ?
If dropped (particularly if the lens was open) the lens drive mechanism might well have suffered damage.
If liquids, particularly ones containing sugar, were accidently messed onto the lens assembly, then the sugar becomes sticky as the liquid dries, effectively glueing the mechanism in place.
Make sure the batteries are good and in right. If it keeps doing it you might be having a problem with your lens opening up and staying open, I had a camera that did that to me, and the lens had been knock and wouldnt open properly, check that out. The lens was out of range from normal and would automatically shut down