Dell was first made aware of the issue in June 2013 when a Dell user called “three west” first posted about the smell of a new Dell Latitude E6430u saying “the machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat's litter box. It is truly awful! It seems to be coming from the keyboard”.
Dell first suggested cleaning the keyboard and air vents around the laptop to cure the smell, but became clear that it was not a user problem. For all those suffering from the smell, the only solution was to return the affected laptops to Dell for a replacement, although Dell was initially worried it wouldn’t “have sufficient stock for everyone and also that any parts we are sending out do not also have the same issue”.
Dell failed to elaborate exactly what was causing the issue, but the majority of users complained that the laptop’s palm rest and keyboard seemed to be the culprit and newer models don’t have it.