Dell: Laptops' cat pee smell not a hazard

JOSHUA LOTT/REUTERS

JOSHUA LOTT/REUTERS

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:13 PM ET

Dell insists the cat pee smell emanating from its new laptops is "not at all a health hazard" and is caused by a "manufacturing process that has now changed."

Owners of the Dell Latitude E6430u started complaining about the urine-like scent in the summer.

"The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box," a customer who goes by "three west" wrote on a Dell forum in June.

After that, pages and pages of similar complaints piled up in the forum.

"It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad," hotecha wrote.

At first, Dell technicians assumed the customers were at fault and provided instructions on how to clean the machine.

But the complaints kept coming in.

Eventually, the tech company realized Dell's manufacturing process, and not misbehaving kitties in the homes of Dell users, was to blame.

"I'll go out on a limb here and say that the smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminate nor is it a health hazard," a Dell customer service representative wrote on Sept. 30, promising that engineers were working to resolve the issue.

Finally, in October, the rep wrote: "What we do know at this time is that this smell is absolutely not urine or any other type of biological material...The smell is caused by a manufacturing process which has now been changed and we are confident that the issue is resolved for all new E6430u currently shipping."

Users are encouraged to trade in their smelly computers for the new versions.


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