It sounds really bizarre, but a number of consumers who bought a particular model of a Dell laptop, the Latitude E6430u, have been complaining about their computers smelling like cat urine.
A few users posted about the issue that affected Dell Latitude E6430u laptops, on Dell’s support forums in June but it went viral after someone posted a link to the thread on Reddit.
“A few weeks ago I got a new Latitude 6430u for work. The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat’s litter box. It is truly awful, ” posted a user under the name Three West.
“I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It’s embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad,” said another user, Hoteca.
Recently, BBC got in touch with Dell and reported that Dell engineers had ruled out any biological contamination, and stated that the foul smell on the Dell Latitude E6430u did not affect the users’ health. They added that the issue was because of a manufacturing process.
Dell has also asked affected users to send their Dell Latitude E6430u laptop back so that some of its parts, including the palm rest, could be replaced to resolve the issue.
The company has also said that new units of the Dell Latitude E6430u will not smell like cat urine.
Here is Dell’s official response to the issue on its blog:
“When the Latitude 6430u was launched we received feedback from some customers commenting on an odor around the laptop. Dell immediately addressed the customer comments in order to resolve the situation and an investigation revealed that this was occurring as a result of a specific manufacturing process. We would like to reassure customers that the odor was not related to biological contamination nor did it present a health hazard. The manufacturing process has subsequently been amended and newly purchased Latitude 6430us are not affected by the issue. Any customer who has a system with the odor can contact our technical support team at 1-800-456-3355 or www.dell.com/support and we will arrange to replace the palm rest assembly.”