Local distributors said they began to see soaring return rates on the hard drives since late April. Most of the returned drives reportedly suffered from bad sectors or problems being formatted, and were found to have come from the same sources in China.
Among the top four hard drive vendors worldwide, Western Digital is the only one unaffected by the incident, as the company does not have products manufactured in China, sources said.
It is suspected that high defect rate was caused by the inexperience of certain manufacturers in China as they were transitioning to new production processes, sources said.
Local agents declined to confirm the report. While Maxtor agent Xander International denied seeing an unusual defect rate, Seagate agents Synnex Technology International and Taiwan Aries stressed that customers would be provided with complete warranty services if they were sold defective products. Comments from Hitachi were unavailable.