Samsung blames batteries for exploding Note 7s

James Pearce
Published on:

The Korean manufacturer claims two separate manufacturing faults caused smartphone to overheat, leading to a global recall that cost it an estimated $5.3 billion

Samsung has blamed the Galaxy Note 7 fires and explosions that forced it into a global recall of the smartphone on two separate battery faults.

The Korean manufacturer said it had carried out exhaustive tests on thousands of Note 7 batteries, ruling ou any problems with the device’s hardware and software.

The reason behind the devices overheating – which led to numerous reports of Note 7’s catching fire or even exploding – has been blamed on batteries, Samsung added.

Samsung manufactured two separate batches of Note 7s prior to the launch of the device in August. In the first batch, the casing for the battery was too small, which caused it to short circuit and, in some case, ignite.

This led Samsung to re-engineer the Note 7, replacing it with a different battery that had a separate manufacturing default. This resulted in similar incidents, Samsung explained.

"Our investigation examined every aspect of the Galaxy Note 7 including hardware and software, and related processes, such as assembly, quality assurance testing, and logistics," the South Korean company said in a statement.

"Through a large-scale testing facility where approximately 700 Samsung researchers and engineers replicated the incidents by testing more than 200,000 fully-assembled devices and more than 30,000 batteries, Samsung finally concluded the cause of the issues."

"Our investigation, as well as the investigations completed by three independent industry organizations, concluded that the batteries were found to be the cause of the Note7 incidents."

Reports of fires and explosions led Samsung to recall around 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices in the summer, before it opted to halt production entirely.

The move has proven costly for Samsung, with estimates of around $5.3 billion in lost profits predicted year-on-year.

Samsung has sought to reassure customers about future productions, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, which is expected to launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.  Samsung said it has introduced a new multi-layer safety protocol at the product planning stage, and an “eight-point batter safety check” for future devices.

"We are taking responsibility for our failure to ultimately identify and verify the issues arising out of battery design and manufacturing process prior to the launch of the Note7," the company said.

"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."