|I haven't seen this particular one on here, but the TE aren't as commonly used, either. There was a problem with the first batch of bamboo OS, and maybe a few odd holes/bald patches here or there, but nothing consistent.
Personally, I would contact ME customer service. They will likely ask you to send photos, and may be able to help you figure this out. There was a thread a while back with people who were having holes in diapers, and one person who contacted ME was told that her diapers had chemical burns. She'd never used anything weird and had been told when she bought them used that they'd been well-treated, but on further investigating found out that they'd had a treatment of thick bleach or something. That was bamboo, if I remember correctly, which seems to be more sensitive to things like bleach, etc., but any chance your friend used something harsh on them before passing them along?
If you have your friend's purchase date, that might help ME, too, in case there was any kind of issue on their end. I think that one of the problems that showed up here was something about the wrong needle being used somewhere along the line or something, so the date might help them figure out if it could have been a production problem.
Given that you aren't the orginal purchaser, ME may not have to honor their warranty, but in general they have fantastic customer service and have really bent over backwards to solve any (rare) quality issues.