The story about the electrolytic capacitor manufacturing problems that plagued a variety of Taiwanese manufacturers due to a complex web of industrial espionage is now quite public. (I believe you've posted stories about it in the past, yourself.) Many are aware that this problem has affected many manufacturers, although few have been eager to admit it.
I worked for IBM in a position related to PC support for over two years. We got to see the floodgates open as systemboards manufactured with the faulty capacitors started to fail. We got to see IBM pretend there was no problem for quite some time, before they finally opened up what IBM calls an "ECA" (for Engineering Change Announcement.) You won't find any reference to this ECA externally, they aren't recalls. IBM, you must understand, never has any "known issues." Those two words are not even allowed to be used together by helpcenter staff. Neither is ECA. IBM, you see, understandably, likes keeping it's faults quiet. Customers call in with the problem, and get the runaround until they push hard enough to get the problem fixed.
Any company as large as IBM has many divisions that aren't always on the same page on everything. There is no exception in this case. Someone somewhere inside the company decided (correctly) that it was in IBM's best interests to publicly come clean on the capacitor problem, explain it, and say they would honor the fix. Of course, this was hushed up quickly, and it wasn't anyone with a direct connection to the groups that are involved in supporting IBM computers that said it. This put the support division in something of a quandary. They could not ignore the problem, but they also didn't want it public.>
So, here's the situation as it stands now:
There are at least three "ECAs" regarding this issue on IBM Netvista computers: ECA061, ECA062, and ECA064, each covering different types of Netvistas. Not all types of Netvista computers are affected by the problem, and not all that are affected by the problem are covered by an ECA. (At the time I left IBM, for example, there was no ECA covering the 2179/6643 All-in-One Netvista X40 machines, which are heavily affected by the problem, and many of them are out of warranty.) For those computers that have ECAs, IBM is quite "willing" to send an onsite technician to your home to replace the faulty systemboard, even if they are out of warranty, provided you know what your problem is, and can prove it, because they aren't going to mention it to you when you call them. If you do mention it, they have a nice answer script that they are forced to use verbatim in reply to any questions about the capacitor problem. The script is uninformative and filled with legalese doubletalk. Symptoms of the problem include random rebooting of the computer, rebooting or freezing as the desktop loads, or inability to boot or post at all. No one of these is necessarily proof of the problem, but it's a very good sign of it.
IBM really doesn't want this public, despite that any responsible company would realize that they have a duty to their customers to make it so. References to this problem are either ignored or if they contain too much information deleted from the IBM Discussion Forums that are provided for customers to discuss problems. (The forums are something of a joke, because of IBM's unwillingness to accept the possibility of a known issue, any real problems tend to be considered inappropriate for forum discussion.) Their phone technicians are not kept particularly in the loop for the most part. Frequent were the horror stories of customers calling in regarding a known hardware problem and being told that they needed to reformat and recover their system, or having them run long diagnostic tests that never detect anything related to the problem anyway.
This is just one such issue, but it's the most widespread, and the most obvious one that surfaced while I worked there. I'm not optomistic that even if their self-destructive policies became public that they would change, but at least people would be aware of it.
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