Updates on Kiwi + Tangerine Issues from TKC/C3/JWK

Posted by Stella Shi on

Update June 4, 2021 – All replacement invoices have been sent out for both Kiwi and Tangerine Switches. Fulfillment of Kiwi replacements has begun this week (5/31) and fulfillment of Tangies replacements will begin next week (6/7). 

Update May 28, 2021 – Kiwi replacement invoices have been sent out to US + Canada customers who ordered on 2/16 between 3:00–5:59pm ET. 

Tangerine replacements are scheduled to be delivered to our warehouse by the end of next week. We will begin sending out Tangerine replacement invoices on Tuesday, 6/1 to customers who have filled out the switch replacement self-service form.

Update May 21, 2021 – Kiwi replacement invoices have been sent out to US + Canada customers who ordered on 2/16 between 3:00–3:05pm ET.

Update May 11, 2021 – Kiwi Switches have completed production and are en route to TKC.

Hey everyone,

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.

JWK accepts full responsibility for the housing issues with the Kiwi and Tangerine switches.
The mold responsible for creating the holes in the bottom housing was faulty due to a loose component. This caused the tooling to over-penetrate the switch's bottom housing and thus, damaged the housing during the manufacturing process. This resulted in the wobbling/clicking issue some customers are experiencing in their Kiwis and/or Tangerines.
The maintenance workers, unfortunately, did not catch the loose component in the machine during routine check-ups which occur on a weekly basis. The affected batches were manufactured between 1/5/21 - 1/7/21, and they estimate that the damaged to non-damaged switch ratio is between 10-30%.
JWK will begin producing replacement switches for the affected batches and ship them out to TKC for fulfillment.
Below is the statement from our partner C³Equalz:

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

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