I doubt you would get a formal reply from Apple on this subject ... and certainly not via these columns. The normal business approach to faulty components is to debit them back to the supplier for refund, and in a major alert, for compensation.
I think it is unlikely Apple would follow any path but a secure one in terms of the disposal of faulty drives and that would equally extend to Seagate. You have to believe.
He is currently using ML and has everything backed up to an external hd.
Just a word of advice...
Make sure He has a Cloned Backup for when Restoring to the Replacement Hard Drive.
By far the easiest way to make such a Backup, is to use something like
or CCC http://www.bombich.com/
Or a Time Machine Backup > http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427
This will make life a lot easier...
Does anyone know why Apple have removed the 35 x wipe from Lion and Mountain Lion other than it's an overkill.
Gutmann algorithm 35-pass secure erase is not available as an option from the GUI, but is still available from command line aka Terminal.
Usage: diskutil secureErase [freespace] level MountPoint|DiskIdentifier|DeviceNode
Securely erases either a whole disk or a volume's freespace.
Level should be one of the following:
0 - Single-pass zeros.
1 - Single-pass random numbers.
2 - US DoD 7-pass secure erase.
3 - Gutmann algorithm 35-pass secure erase.
4 - US DoE 3-pass secure erase.
Ownership of the affected disk is required.
Note: Level 2, 3, or 4 secure erases can take an extremely long time.