Dell has recently settled a class-action suit filed on behalf of consumers who own the Inspiron 5150 notebook. Recall that we referred to this particular model in our “lemons” article a while back. The 5150 had serious design issues wherein extreme heat generated by the processor (it was a Pentium 4-mobile) caused the laptop’s casing to molt and press against some components of the motherboard, causing damage. Independent/consumer reviews of the 5150 indicate that a good number of 5150 units experienced irreparable system board damage and that Dell was previously unwilling to acknowledge the defect.
On August 16, 2006, the parties entered into a settlement agreement granting relief to a class consisting of all individuals and entities in the United States who own or have owned a Dell Inspiron 5150 notebook computer.
Within the next month, members of the class should receive an official notice explaining the exact terms of the settlement. These terms are subject to final approval by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In general terms, the settlement includes an extended one-year limited warranty for the following “Qualifying Repairs”:
- Repairs to resolve messaging code M1004, which is a message that the 5150 is programmed to display if it shuts down to prevent system damage;
- Heat sink replacements;
- AC adapter replacements necessary to resolve “insufficient power” and “cannot identify power source” messages; and
- Motherboard replacements that are necessary to resolve “no power” or “shutdown” situations.
The settlement also entitles individuals or entities who have spent for repairs of the 5150 to reimbursement, inclusive of shipping and actual repair costs, whether from Dell or third parties.