The laptop in question is the Dell Latitude 643ou. Dell admitted that this line of laptops really smelled like cat urine. They said that the manufacturing processes used to develop this laptop were the culprits.
This problem was first reported back in June when a user posted that the new laptop smells awful. He then continues that the machine is great but it smells as if it was assembled near a litter box. He further commented that the smell was truly awful. Another user said that he was having the same problem. He thought he smelled something odd by the end of the first week of usage of the laptop. His wife said that something smells like cat pee. She put her nose up to the machine and found that it was indeed the laptop that stinks.
Other users thought that it was their cat that sprayed on the device. One user replaced her laptop because it was faulty. The new one had the exact same smell. She further said that it’s embarrassing to take the laptop to clients because of the smell.
These reports went on but Dell did not do anything. Users complained on the company’s support forums. Users were told to clean their machines with a cloth and compressed air.
Last September, however, one user asked if the smell could be coming from a potentially dangerous plastic polymer. That made Dell investigate into the matter. After the investigation, Dell concluded that the odour was not harmful to one’s health. They have also admitted that the issue was real. They announced that customers should send affected models back. They offered to replace the keyboard and the palm rest.
According to Dell, the smell was not in any way from cat urine or any other kind of biological contaminant nor was it a health hazard. It was the result of a manufacturing process that has now been changed. The support technician, SteveB, also said that if consumers order an E643ou now, it will no longer have the same issue.
It’s good that Dell was willing to replace affected laptops but why did they wait for several months before investigating the matter? Why did they have to wait for someone to ask if the issue could be harmful to the user’s health before they took action? Well, at least it was determined that it was not hazardous so we guess all’s well that ends well.