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printed December 18, 2017
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Samsung Blames Note7 Recall On 2 Battery Problems

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Jan 22, 2017, 8:20 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Samsung today said problems created during the manufacture of the Galaxy Note7's battery caused the phone to sometimes overheat and burst into flame. The company says two separate battery defects are at fault, but maintains nothing was wrong with the phone itself. In the first battery, a design flaw led the external casing to be too small to accommodate the internal components. The tight fit caused some electrodes to bend and others to break. This led the battery to short-circuit, overheat, and in some cases ignite. In the second battery, which was made by a third-party supplier, a welding defect introduced during manufacturing led to similar short-circuiting, overheating, and ignition problems. Samsung said this third-party battery was rushed to market, which may have played a role in creating the defect. Samsung tasked some 700 engineers to test some 200,000 Note7 smartphones for problems. The company checked various components, such as the USB port, wireless charging components, iris scanner, processor and radio, and other parts to ensure they didn't play a role in the phone's thermal problems. Samsung says three independent, external investigating firms reached the same conclusions. In sum, Samsung says the battery is to blame for the Galaxy Note7's fire problems and the resulting recall of the handset. The company has introduced new quality checks in its manufacturing processes — and demanded the same checks from its parts suppliers — to ensure problems like this do not arise again.

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