Dell offers Latitude E6430u laptop owners replacements over cat pee smell

1 Nov 2013

'This laptop smells of human'

Computer maker Dell is offering owners of its Latitude E6430u laptop replacements after they raised a stink over a ‘cat urine’ odour coming off their machines.

Colin Hu, of Dell’s Social Outreach Services, posted a message on Dell’s support forum yesterday, saying an investigation revealed the smell was the result of a manufacturing process.  

“We would like to reassure customers that the smell was not related to biological contamination nor did it present a health hazard,” the post reads.

“Any customer who has a system with the smell can contact our technical support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO and they will assist with replacing the affected parts.”

The post also mentions that the manufacturing process has been amended and newly purchased Latitude E6430us are not affected by the issue. 

Most users of the laptop reported that the stench emanated from the machine’s palm rest and keyboard, The Guardian reported.

The issue first came to Dell’s attention in June, when a user posted a message about the smell, 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 responded, instructing the user to remove the keyboard and clean it with a soft cloth, as well as use a can of compressed air to clean the area of the keyboard.

Then more and more users reported the same smell coming off their Latitude E6430us.

The Guardian reported that the manufacturing issue was rectified in October, so the latest Latitude E6430us off the production line should be odour-free.

Cat with laptop image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic