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Unsealed Court Documents Look Bad for Dell in Bad Capacitor Case

PC manufacturing stalwart, Dell, has closed a three year lawsuit regarding their handling of systems that were failing due to faulty capacitors - a serious problem that became widespread around the end of the 1990s, and is continuing to plague electronics manufacturers today.

Dell has been singled out in the lawsuit for their apparent intentional avoidance of customers that were suffering from system failures linked to bad capacitors, issues affecting up to 20 percent of systems orders for some major clients. Some of the unsealed court documents showed that Dell and customers were overwhelmed at how quickly components were failing.

One particular system, the SX270 Optiplex was initially only forecast to have a 12 percent, minimum, failure rate. Over time, that forecast was increased to 45 percent, and was believed that it could reach 97 percent. According to company representatives, the forecast figures ended up far exceeding the actual rates of failure due to the bad capacitors, with 22 percent of Optiplex systems needing hardware replacement.

Other computer and electronics manufacturers took a more proactive stance when the issue of bad capacitors came to light, the big issue with what Dell did was that they knowingly continued to build and sell systems including known faulty parts and start triaging customers based on the level of risk to future business with Dell.

21 November 2010

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