Dell 6340u smells like cat pee according to owners

Bradley Wint
By: - 30th Oct 2013
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If you like the smell of cat pee, then maybe the Dell 6340u is for you.

Recent owners of the Dell 6340u Ultrabook have started complaining about a horrid smell coming from their devices, most of them comparing it to the smell of cat urine. It’s always normal to see the one or two out of a thousand posts where users complain about something really odd, but when a thread stretches out to 6 pages, there’s a definite cause for concern.

The original poster said this:

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?

Funny enough, many other owners of the 6340u chimed in complaining about a similar problem.

cnadir said:

I am the technology coordinator at Washington DC public high school. We have about 300 Dell Latitude 6430u laptops. 60 have been issued to teachers for the school year. So far, two staffers have complained of the cat urine smell. Is this something I can expect to hear from everyone and what should my next steps be?

malioz said:


I have the same odor problem with my NEW 6430u which I have been waiting for a long time (and during that time resisting not to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon). Definitelly this problem has nothing to do with air vents. I know little bit about plastics and I am quite sure that the problem is originated from the polymer used in the case of the laptop (top, buttom, keypad & palmrest) This polymer is mixed & molded with special additives and plastifiers (to accomodate the soft touch affect). Some of those chemicals are now migrating to the surface and creating this awful odor. Besides the odor, I am aslo more concerned about the possible negative health effects of these chemicals which are absorbed by our body through contact with skin and inhalation.

I am sure that everybody in DELL  well aware of this problem (as long as they have functioning nasal receptors). This can never be considered as an acceptable defect and I can not imagine how DELL can realease such a flagship model to the market in such condition?

Big disappointmet!

If you read through the entire forum thread, you can read more funny comments about the laptop’s odd smell.

Dell has since addressed the problem, stating that the flaw lied in the “manufacturing process” and posed no biological threat or other health hazard. They’ve updated the process and most likely will replace the units of those who are currently complaining about the feline smell.

We really appreciate everyone’s patience as we work thru this issue. The problem has been resolved and the past few weeks I have been waiting on engineering to release detailed information on a root cause and resolution. We are currently waiting on final engineering failure analysis for a definitive root cause which is expected to come any day now. Once we have this, we can make an official comment. In the meantime, I’ll provide a few details of what we do know.

  • The smell was related to a manufacturing process that has now been changed
  • The smell is not in any way related to biological contamination
  • The smell is not at all health hazard
  • If you order an E6430u now, it will not have the issue

As soon as we have final engineering failure analysis, more information will be posted on how to immediately resolve the issue. We hope to have the information this week so please keep watching this thread.

Talk about piss poor quality? *crickets*

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