We will always give the manufacturer the opportunity to look at our test results and provide fixes/comments before we publish a review - we do this with every drive and manufacturer. But we do not let them get unlimited amount of time - we wait at maximum 7 days after we have sent the results to them. No fixes comments until then = post review.
It happens that a defective drive is sent to reviewers too - and we have to make sure that this is not the case with all drives we review.
You will always try to make sure that the problems you find is normal. As said - it's normal to let the drive manufacturer look at the results and comment on them before posting a review.
If you read our (maybe especially mine) reviews you will notice that I do not have any problems giving negative ratings for a drive. And I've yet to find a drive without noticeable negative points in my book.
Thanks, we are trying to be honest and be friend with both readers (Can't live without them) and drive manufacturers (we need them to provide test samples). So we will always inform the manufacturer about errors we find and let them comment on/fix the errors within a short period of time. This also benefits the users as reviewers often have close contact with the right people so errors may actually be fixed in newer firmware versions due to the feedback from the reviewers.
I've already ruined one relationship with one company so they will not provide review samples anymore. But they deserved it, the drive sucked and they were not easy to deal with either. I don't think I've ever been as pissed at a company as this one.