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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2010 - issue > Tech Tracker

Dell Opens Up Faulty PCs to the Market with Full Knowledge

Eureka Bharali
Monday, July 5, 2010
Eureka Bharali
People who may have bought the hardware giant Dell’s Optiplex computers between May 2003 and July 2005 did not know that their new systems will soon break down within a span of three years. However, in a recent court release it was found that the company’s employees had proper knowledge of the defect before its release in the market.

It deliberately sold out about 12 million OptiPlex desktops between 2003 and 2005 shipped with mainboards capacitors that, they knew would fail soon. The documents were connected to a lawsuit filed by Web hosting service provider Advanced Internet Technologies (AIT) against Dell in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina on Nov. 1, 2007. AIT sought $75,000 and punitive damages from Dell for breach of contract, fraud and deceptive business practices.

The allegation of deception comes as the company also instructed the people in sales and support to avoid acknowledging that the mainboards were bad and downplayed the breakdowns, even when batches of 1,000 or more PCs failed at the same time. Gradually as the complaints increased, Dell eventually admitted the issue and in 2005 set aside $300 million to mend and replace computers, although it tried to downplay the effects by saying the capacitors didn't cause data loss or pose a safety risk. Many affected companies did, however, complain that they lost millions of dollars of business as they were suddenly forced to repair or replace systems all at once. The problem was caused due to some of the company’s suppliers’ association with a company called Nichicon. So, if the OptiPlex desktops are still turning to be a menace, may be you should check with Dell.

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