Dell Scrambles To Fix Laptop ‘Cat Whiz’ Odor Problem
Does your new Dell laptop smell like feline urine? There’s not an app for that – and the manufacturer is hustling to find out what the problem is:
The powerful odour is “not at all health hazard” and seems to have been caused by a “manufacturing process that has now been changed,” according to SteveB, a senior technical consultant for Dell posting on the company’s support forums.
Dell was first made aware of the issue in June 2013 when a Dell user called “three west” first posted about the smell of a new Dell Latitude E6430u saying “the machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat’s litter box. It is truly awful! It seems to be coming from the keyboard”.
Dell first suggested cleaning the keyboard and air vents around the laptop to cure the smell, but as more and more users complained of the same stench being emitted from the laptop from different countries and regions, it soon became clear that it wasn’t users to blame but the actual laptop.
“Well .. here I am Sunday doing some work on the couch and my wife says ,”What stinks like cat pee?”. I said … I think its this laptop … she puts her nose up to the keyboard and BAM! It really stinks,” said gambit29.
The smell was narrowed down to an issue with manufacturing, which was apparently resolved in October, meaning that new machines running off the production line were cured of the cat-pee smell.
For all those suffering from the smell, the only solution was to return the affected laptops to Dell for a replacement, although Dell was initially worried it wouldn’t “have sufficient stock for everyone and also that any parts we are sending out do not also have the same issue”.
Unfortunately, not all of Dell’s replacement machines were free from odour as one user complained: “I just received my 5th replacement 6430u yesterday and the smell is still there …”