About six weeks ago, we started receiving community feedback and customer service tickets regarding issues with our Kiwi switches. We weren't originally concerned, as a small defect rate with switches is to be expected, and the number of tickets we received did not exceed that defect rate. We chose to replace the defective switches on a case-by-case basis.
A few weeks later, we started receiving similar feedback and tickets about defects in Tangerine switches. At that time, the overall reported defect rate was still within the expected bounds, but we became concerned that it was caused by a larger issue.
We held an internal investigation on the quality of the switches in question, and we found that the defect rate was beyond the acceptable bounds. Right after we made this discovery, we experienced an influx of switch-related tickets, as well as additional feedback in our Discord server. We realized that this issue was much worse than was originally estimated, and we immediately pulled the Kiwi switches from our store.
The same day, we informed our partner C³Equalz about the issue. C³Equalz talked to JWK, the manufacturer of the switches, and asked them to look into the defects. The president of JWK immediately traveled to Shanghai to meet face-to-face with C³Equalz. In that meeting, JWK promised both us and C³Equalz that we'd receive a full report on what went wrong with the latest batch of switches.
We've just received the results of JWK's investigation (see photos below), and we're happy to be able to share those results with you now.
To our beloved keyboard community members and TKC:
After we received the call from TKC about our switches, we took it very seriously and informed JWK about the issue immediately. The owner of JWK flew to our city on the day we called them. We (JWK and us) met with TKC via video conference call. We talked about what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future. It’s very unfortunate this happened to our production line. But we are really happy to have TKC on our side and they took actions about this issue. They never quit on problems and they have taken a lot of responsibility.
As many of you may know we are a very small company and we really cherish our brand and the quality of our products. So we haven’t hesitated to take our responsibility to this matter and bear the loss of it.
At least we really appreciate TKC the way they handle all this. We think it’s the best way to make it right to the customers and really thankful to them. It’s never easy for them to take a lot of loss like this and give back to our community.
We hope you can still trust us and we will bring more exciting stuff to our community.
Now that we understand what went wrong with the manufacturing process, we'd like to make this right for our customers.
As a part of their investigation, JWK has noted which batches of Kiwis and Tangerines were affected by manufacturing errors. We will be sending an email to customers who purchased from affected batches—Kiwis from 2/16 and Tangerines from 3/16—in the next two weeks. That email will contain details about our in-depth recall of the affected switches and our early-stage plans to issue replacements. In the meantime, if you have any affected switches on hand, please refrain from lubing, modifying, or building with them.
Please know that we are committed to doing right by the community. As a part of our Commitment to Quality, we always want to provide the best experience to TKC customers. We hope that this large-scale recall of our product shows our willingness to overcome our past mistakes. Our goal is to elevate mechanical keyboards as a hobby. We appreciate you continuing to put your faith in us.
Thank you for your understanding,
The TKC Team