said by craig70130:
A drive manufacturer is not going to do anything with a returned drive themselves. However, I don't know how they dispose of returned drives they decide not to 'fix'.
Drive manufacturers do look at field returns, especially on "enterprise" drives like the OP is RMA'ing. They want to figure out why drives are failing in the field, how they could potentially lessen returns on the product via a FW update, or whether it's something that'll have to go into a future product.
That said, field returns are normally going to be categorized into certain failure buckets. Often times the return can be easily categorized without digging too deeply into the drive and without having to look at any user LBAs. If for some reason the drive doesn't fall into one of the pre-existing failure buckets, then more investigation has to take place and that could involve having the drive run through one of the manufacturer's more in-depth FA tools, which could include a scan of user LBAs, but is not going to involve reconstructing the file system on the drive to where they could see your files.
If I had private/confidential information on the drive I'd wipe it first to be safe. But if the data isn't private don't worry about it.