"The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcats litter box," reported a Dell customer using the handle Three West. "It is truly awful! It seems to be coming from the keyboard."
A Dell technical support provider suggested cleaning the keyboard area with a soft cloth, but it was to no avail.
"Same experience," wrote forum user Hotecha. "I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad."
Added Gambit29: "I thought I smelt something odd. Well.. here I am Sunday doing some work on the couch and my wife says 'what stinks like cat pee'. I said.. I think its this laptop.. puts her nose up to the keyboard and BAM! It really stinks."
A Senior Dell Technical Consultant, SteveB, reassured customers that Dell would get to the root of the problem, which was definitely not cat piss: "Dell Engineering and our suppliers have been analyzing a captured unit and are close to a root cause. A biological contaminate/health hazard is not suspected at this time."
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.