Did Dell sell faulty computers to customers knowingly? That's the heart of a controversy brewing as Dell finds itself in the midst of a lawsuit. According to a report in the New York Times, Dell desktop PCs suffered from faulty capacitors built by third-party component suppliers. In documents filed for the trail, it seems that Dell was aware of this fault:
A study by Dell found that OptiPlex computers affected by the bad capacitors were expected to cause problems up to 97 percent of the time over a three-year period, according to the lawsuit.
...But Dell employees went out of their way to conceal these problems. In one e-mail exchange between Dell customer support employees concerning computers at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, a Dell worker states, “We need to avoid all language indicating the boards were bad or had ‘issues’ per our discussion this morning.”
In other documents about how to handle questions around the faulty OptiPlex systems, Dell salespeople were told, “Don’t bring this to customer’s attention proactively” and “Emphasize uncertainty.”
Dell however, denies it in a blog post ran two days after the report broke:
Dell did not knowingly ship faulty motherboards, and we worked directly with customers in situations where the issue occurred.