Basically all the bulging and leaking but it is important to understand what is going on with the performance of the capacitor when it is considered to have failed. Basically the capacitor is no longer performing to its normal specification.
Thus far, only Abit has come forward and stated that its capacitors have been faulty, although it is widely believed that many other motherboard manufacturers have purchased capacitors from the same component manufacturers as Abit. IBM admitted to using some of the Abit motherboards in its PCs.
Other motherboards were widely affected but most wanted to avoid liability costs. Many class actions were filed.
Aluminum electrolytic capacitors with a low equivalent series resistance (ESR) are high-capacitance components that generally serve to smooth out the power supply to chips. Throughout 2002 and onward they have been breaking open and failing in vast numbers of desktop and laptop PCs.
What happened is that the Chinese company had tried to copy the electrolyte formula of a Japanese design but a mistake was made and the formula failed to operate at the intended specification. The capaci tors had a very high series equivalent resistance (ESR) which leads to overheating. This can be tested with an ESR meter.
Our old Zotac 8600 GT was made with Teapo electrolytic capacitors. Many other products were also made with them. We have also suspected some motherboard failures were due to bad capacitors.
These capacitors also found their way into power supplies. We have noticed many reports of expensive power supplies being wrecked when the primary capacitors failed.
Dell was reported as losing over $400 million to remedy problems with machines that failed. Samsung spend an unknown amount sending field service techs to repair televisions.
Another class action over price fixing was filed against several Japanese manufacturers of capacitors.