November 1, 2013

Noxious feline odor has some Dell customers complaining

People who own Dell Latitude 6430u laptops say their pricey new computers are emitting a smell similar to cat urine.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — A noxious feline odor has some Dell customers caterwauling.

People who own Dell Latitude 6430u laptops are complaining that their pricey new computers are emitting a smell similar to cat urine. Some of them said on the company’s online customer forums that the odor seems to be coming from the keyboard or palm rest.

The Round Rock, Texas, company originally advised buyers through its forums to try cleaning their keyboards with a soft cloth or compressed air, but the smell persisted.

“The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat’s litter box,” wrote a customer using the handle “three west” on a Dell forum.

On Wednesday, another customer writing under the handle “passflips” said he felt terrible for repeatedly scolding his cat Jerry, because he thought the elderly cat kept spraying the computer. The poster also said he wasted money on veterinarian bills in an attempt to determine whether his cat had a medical problem.

Dell said Thursday that its investigation revealed strange scent is related to a manufacturing process, which the company has since fixed. But if your portable PC isn’t purrfect, Dell recommends contacting the company’s technical support team to have your laptop’s palm rest assembly replaced.

Company spokesman David Frink said the odor isn’t related to a “biological contamination” and doesn’t present a health hazard.

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