Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires case officially announced
This debacle had cost billions to the company as well as to its reputation which was fiercely damaged.
After last year's large-scale recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device, Samsung Electronics has now released an official statement blaming the faulty batteries for the fires in Note 7 devices.
The world's largest smartphone maker had to discontinue the phone,w hich was originally intended to compete with Apple's iPhone, after a chaotic recall that saw replacement devices also catching fire.
This debacle had costed billions to the company as well as to its reputation which was fiercely damaged.
Internal and independent investigations "concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 incidents", Samsung said in a statement. "We sincerely apologise for the discomfort and concern we have caused to our customers," Koh Dong-Jin, the head of its mobile business, told reporters in Seoul.
It announced a recall of 2.5 million units of the oversized Galaxy Note 7 in September 2016 after several devices exploded or caught fire, with the company blaming batteries from a supplier, widely believed to be its sister firm Samsung SDI. When replacement phones - with batteries from another firm, largely thought to be Chinese manufacturer ATL - also started to combust, the company eventually decided to kill off the Galaxy Note 7 for good.
Samsung deployed around 700 researchers and engineers on its investigation, testing more than 200,000 fully-assembled devices and more than 30,000 batteries, it said. It did not identify the battery makers on Monday, but independent investigators UL and Exponent agreed with the findings.
Battery A had a design issue that pushed down the right corner of the battery, while Battery B had defective internal welds, said Kevin White, principal scientist at Exponent. But Koh dismissed the possibility of suing the manufacturers. "Whatever parts we use, the overall responsibility falls to us for failing to verify its safety and quality," he said. "At this point, I don't think it's right to seek legal action.
Around 1,000 different parts from some 450 suppliers were needed for each Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung acknowledged that it provided the specifications for the batteries, adding in its statement: "We have taken several corrective actions to ensure this never happens again. The lessons of the past several months are now deeply reflected in our processes and in our culture."
The firm has since embarked on a campaign to restore its battered reputation, issuing repeating apologies and putting full-page advertisements in prominent US newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post admitting that it "fell short" on its promises.