Feeds

Secret docs reveal Dell knew PCs were faulty

Welcome to a world of lawyers

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Dell is in court accused of knowingly selling thousands of computers which it knew were likely to be faulty.

Documents seen by Ashlee Vance at the New York Times show Dell staff were aware that problems with capacitors from Nichicon were likely to hit at least 11.8 million OptiPlex machines shipped to customers between May 2003 and July 2005.

An internal review by Dell itself found that 97 per cent of the machines were likely to fail over three years. The problems got worse when Dell managed to replace the faulty motherboards with other faulty ones.

Staff were told not to warn customers proactively and to "emphasize the uncertainty", the NYT reports.

Complaints from the University of Texas were fended off by Dell staff blaming the university for overloading the machines with difficult maths problems. Even the law firm currently defending Dell got burned when the direct seller refused to fix 1,000 computers bought by the lawyers.

Dell, once the darling of the industry, has tried to put the problems behind it - settling this month with the SEC, and paying out $300m in 2005 for problems with the OptiPlex desktops at the centre of the current lawsuit.

Dell's model of tightly controlled inventory and Japanese "just-in-time" logistics was meant to provide a way to make a profit from turning out hardware and reduce the impact of this kind of failure.

The company lost its way in reacting to consumer demand and watched most of the rest of the industry mimic its supply chain.

Dell must now deal with a consumer lawsuit without sparking a larger class action case, or action from disappointed shareholders. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.