Not so factory fresh: Some new Dell laptops smell like cat urine

dell 6430u laptops ship windows 8 intel hardware smell cat piss grumpy confused

Dell has pissed off quite a bit of its customers, apparently.

It turns out that a significant amount of people who purchased the Dell Latitude 6430u Ultrabook were greeted by the intense smell of cat urine once they opened up the box containing their brand new Dell business notebook. Other 6430u users reported smelling something akin to a litterbox when cracking open a new 6430u. Either way, not good.


The complaints pertaining to this cat piss 6430u issue go as far back as June, according to this user-created forum on the official Dell site. Here’s what one user had to say:

“So a few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work. The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcats litter box.  It is truly awful! It  seems to be coming from the keyboard. Anybody got any advice on removing the smell?”

Others were quick to chime in, reporting a similar experience.

“Same experience.  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.”

We’re assuming/hoping that this next user was just joking about the violent part of their post on Dell’s forums:

“I want you to know that I killed our 1 year old cat, thinking it was pissing on my computer each night and now come across THIS forum telling me otherwise.  Not only do I want a new computer, I want a new cat, vet fees, letter of apology and payment for my divorce lawyer, since my wife has left me after finding this out.”

Today, a Dell senior technical consultant posted this on the 6430u cat piss thread.

“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”

Apparently, Dell found a fix to the 6430’s cat pee problem, but for whatever reason they won’t release the fix until sometime “this week or next.”

 When the fix is revealed, we’ll be sure to bring it to you. In the meantime, avoid all contact with smelly 6430u systems and remember, it’s Dell’s fault. Not your cat’s.

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