Report: Battery Size Likely Led To Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Issues

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There will be answers: Samsung is set to reveal Monday the findings of an investigation into why the recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone has the tendency to catch fire or explode, with the cause centered on the device’s battery. 

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that there were two reasons for the phones’ issues: the irregular size of the battery and manufacturing problems.

The sources tell the WSJ that Samsung’s report — conducted by third-party firms and Samsung — concludes that batteries manufactured by affiliate Samsung SDI Co. were irregularly sized and didn’t fit into the phone properly. This, the investigation found, caused the batteries to overheat, leading to smoke, fire, or explosion.

When Samsung first became aware of the Galaxy 7 issues, it replaced its affiliate batteries with ones made by Amperex Technology Ltd.

Because of the quick turnaround needed, the sources say, these batteries included a manufacturing issue, but didn’t elaborate on what the problem was.

The WSJ reports that Samsung shared its findings with regulators this week, discussing ways in which the company plans to avoid any future battery problems.

To do so, the sources say Samsung has created an eight-step process that includes more testing, inspections, and quality assurances from manufacturers.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 issues began in late August when the company delayed deliveries of the device after reports it could catch fire and explode. Days later the company admitted there was a problem and announced an exchange program, but not a recall.

That changed in mid-September when the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced an official recall. In October, customers reported that their replacement Galaxy Note 7s were also catching fire or exploding. The company then halted production of the phone temporarily, and later permanently.

More recently, wireless carriers have “bricked” the remaining Galaxy Note 7 phones through a Samsung-produced update.