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Samsung reveals cause of Note 7 fires

Samsung reveals cause of Note 7 fires

January 23, 2017

The OEM revealed that “two separate battery faults” were to blame for the device’s issues.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The decision to suspend production came last October following “repeated problems” and “replacement devices ha[ving] caught fire”, with one igniting on a US plane, forcing an evacuation. An “unnamed source at [a] Samsung supplier” said at the time that the company had decided to “halt the production of the smartphone”, while the company had already recalled 2.5 million Note 7s due to “faulty batteries” that caused the phones to “smoke or catch fire”.

The OEM estimated later that same month that a “negative impact” from ceasing production and sales of the Note 7 could cost it “approximately” W3 trillion ($2.6 billion/€2.4 billion) in operating profit from the fourth quarter of 2016 through to the first quarter of 2017. Now, both the OEM and The Guardian have reported on the OEM’s press conference to announce the cause of the fault, with Samsung stating that the findings came “following several months of in-depth investigations”, and noting that it has take “measures to prevent recurrence”.

DJ Koh, the OEM’s President of the Mobile Communications business, shared the “detailed results” and “expressed his sincere apology and gratitude” for customer and partner “patience and continued support”. The Guardian noted that the OEM blames “two separate battery faults”, with “tens of thousands” of tests finding that “both original and replacement batteries were responsible”.

The “internal and independent” tests “ruled out any problems with the device’s hardware or software”, with the original battery’s casing “too small, causing it to short-circuit and ignite”, while the replacement “had a different manufacturing defect but led to the same result”. The first battery’s internal structure included “layers of positive and negative electrodes”, with some cases seeing the battery “squashed in one corner, forcing the tips of the layer […] to curve over”.

The second batteries meanwhile “came from a different supplier” and saw fires “caused by punctures in a super-thin component that separates the positive and negative electrodes” alongside “faulty insulation”. The OEM stated that based on what it learned, it has “implemented a broad range of internal quality and safety processes to further enhance product safety including additional protocols such as the multi-layer safety measures and 8-Point Battery Safety Check”.

It also formed a ‘Battery Advisory Group ‘of “external advisers, academic and research experts to ensure it maintains a clear and objective perspective on battery safety and innovation”. Koh added that “today, more than ever, we are committed to earning the trust of our customers through innovation that redefines what is possible in safety, and as a gateway to unlimited possibilities and incredible new experiences”.

Samsung added: “We are taking responsibility for our failure to ultimately identify and verify the issues arising out of battery design and manufacturing. We have taken several corrective actions to ensure this never happens again. We look forward to moving ahead with a renewed commitment to safety. The lessons of the past several months are now deeply reflected in our processes and in our culture.”

Categories : Products and Technology

Tags : Business Samsung Technology

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