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Dell accused of selling defective notebooks - again

Motherboards conveniently go kaput after warranty expires

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A lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court alleges that Dell notebooks suffer from design defects that cause premature failure of the motherboard due to overheating.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on behalf of an Ontario owner of an Inspiron PC, according to articles by the Canadian Press and the Associated Press. It claims that Dell knew or should have known of the defects but sold the notebooks anyway.

The suit applies to the 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150 or 5160 models of the Inspiron. Dell settled a similar US lawsuit over one of the models and is defending itself against lawsuits over the other four, according to the Associated Press.

The lawsuit claims that the overheating problems often happen shortly after a one-year warranty expires.

Last year, Dell recalled more than four million laptop batteries made by Sony because they overheated and ran the risk of catching fire. The Ontario suit, which was announced Friday, is unrelated to the Sony battery problems. The overheating problem described in the action do not appear to cause fires or injuries.

"It would appear as though it's a systemic problem that's inherent to all of these Inspiron models, Joel Rochon, a partner at Rochon Genova, told the CP.

A Dell spokeswoman told the CP the company doesn't comment on pending lawsuits. ®

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