Samsung Claims Faulty Lithium Batteries To Blame For Galaxy Note 7 Fires

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If you’re someone who’s wondering why you had to empty a fire extinguisher on your Samsung Galaxy Note 7, you now have answers.

During a press conference Monday, Samsung said flaws in the design and manufacturing of two different lithium batteries — not hardware or software deficiencies — are to blame for the fire risks that plagued the Note 7, according to the Associated Press. Since the phone’s launch in August, Samsung has recalled 3.06 million units and cancelled production of the phone for good.

The batteries in question give the Note 7 one of the largest battery capacities of any smartphone, and the highest energy density of any Samsung device. Although Samsung is accepting responsibility for not being more cautious with design specifications for suppliers, it’s blaming the defective batteries on the companies responsible for their manufacturing.

With the help of three private inspectors, Samsung examined 200,000 phones and 30,000 batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Ltd., two of the company’s suppliers. The Note 7’s supply chain also was examined during the investigation.

Samsung didn’t specify which of its suppliers to blame for each specific finding, but said it found damage to corners of the batteries used in the Note 7s that were subject to the initial recalls in September. Additionally, the company said those batteries suffered from thin separators that couldn’t compensate for high energy density.

As for the batteries used in the replacements for the recalled phones, the investigation found evidence of welding defects and battery cells that had lack of protective tape.

Samsung reportedly is assuming the cost of the Note 7 recall, a figure it estimated will exceed $5 billion.

Lithium batteries catching fire isn’t a problem that’s unique to Samsung, as similar issues have plagued laptops, jetliners and Tesla vehicles. But the rechargeable ones used in smart phones are especially prone to overheating if subject to high temperatures, damages or other flaws.

Samsung also announced it’s implementing a strict battery safety test on future devices in an effort to avoid more issues.

Thumbnail photo via YouTube/Business Insider

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