Dell: Yes, our laptop smells like cat pee, but it's not cat pee

Let's start with the bad news: If you've purchased a Dell Latitude E6430u, there's a solid chance that it smells like cat pee. But don't worry! Dell says it's not actually cat pee and while the smell may be unpleasant, it won't make you sick.

Buyers of the Latitude E6430u started stinking up the Dell forums with complaints about the notebook's suspiciously feline-like stench all the way back in June. Dell support first suggested removing the Latitude's keyboard and cleaning underneath, as well as blowing both the keyboard and vents with compressed air.

Users said doing so didn't fix the problem, however, and over the months a growing chorus of complaints suggested the stink wasn't limited to just a few laptops. Some people reported exchanging their laptops only to be greeted by the smell once again in replacement Latitudes.

Here's a mere whiff of the numerous gripes:

  • "The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcats litter box. It is truly awful!"
  • "I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad."
  • "Here I am Sunday doing some work on the couch and my wife says "What stinks like cat pee." I said.. I think it's this laptop."

This morning, a senior Dell technical support member took to the company's forums to clear the air.

"Just wanted to provide a quick update for everyone.

As mentioned before, the issue was fully investigated and Dell has determined that the smell is not at all related to cat urine or any biological contaminate. Further testing revealed that there is no health hazard related to the smell.

The issue has been corrected on new units currently being ordered. We are currently finalizing plans for a full resolution for those who still have unit that exhibits the issue. I am hoping to post a root cause and resolution either this week or the next and am just waiting on engineering to finalize a few details.

We do appreciate everyone's patience as we work thru this issue. For updates, keep watching this thread or follow me on twitter @stevebatdell"

So there you have it. While it's great that units rolling off the line have ditched the kittylicious odor, here's hoping that users who have already spent $900-plus on a notebook that smells like cat pee receive a fix sooner rather than later.

[Via Engadget]

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