Dell has responded to complaints that the company sold millions of OptiPlex desktop PCs to its business customers, as the company shuffled blame on an Asian contractor and the customer that used OptiPlex computers in a manner they weren’t designed for.
The Advanced Internet Technologies (AIT) company first sued Dell three years ago, accusing the company of selling 2,000 faulty OptiPlex PCs between 2003 and 2004.
“Many customers who bought systems with Nichicon capacitors during the 2003 – 2005 timeframe did not experience an issue,” Dell said in a blog post. “In other words, the overall failure rate of systems with Nichicon capacitors was dramatically lower than what’s being reported.”
Dell responded by clarifying several important points related to the case: the OptiPlex problem was resolved years ago, and this isn’t a current issue. Furthermore, Dell said it didn’t “knowingly ship faulty motherboards,” while the company claims this was an industry-wide problem.
The older legal matter was first learned about at the end of June, with several reports being published in the Wall Street Journal and other online sources. The Asian contractor Nichicon sold the faulty capacitors to Dell, which then used the capacitors for a two-year span between 2003 and 2005.
The U.S. PC maker did drop Nichicon products, but Dell sales managers told employees to avoid discussions related to faulty motherboards.
Since Dell fixed issues with the OptiPlex desktops years ago, this is a legal matter that should be resolved quickly. It may be worth it for Dell just to settle the lawsuit and finally move forward for good.
I see this as a problem for Dell because it’s a problem from six years ago that is still gaining attention and causing the company a public relations problem today.