Samsung has confirmed that the batteries were the cause of potential fire and explosion issues with the Galaxy Note 7. Specifically, Samsung found that the batteries can short circuit when a separator between electrodes is damaged. In addition, the battery casing’s small size could cause the negative electrode to bend, and Samsung found that some batteries were missing insulation tape.
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Samsung has committed to additional quality assurance to ensure that this issue does not happen again. Their press release outlined a plan for an eight-point check system. "It involves putting our batteries through extreme testing, inside and out, followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye to ensure highest quality. This program is our commitment to safer devices now and in the future,” said Samsung’s press release.
The new test will consist of a durability test, a visual inspection, an x-ray inspection, charge and discharge tests, a total volatile organic compound (TVOC), disassembly, accelerated use, and Delta Open Circuit (DOCV) tests. The press release also notes that they have “formed a Battery Advisory Group of external advisers, academic and research experts to ensure it maintains a clear and objective perspective on battery safety and innovation”. Future devices will also have improved software features to monitor and control the battery temperature and charging current. The full report can be found here.
This announcement comes nearly four months after the initial recall and three months after discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7 altogether. Samsung has claimed that of the three million Note 7’s sold, 96% of them have been returned through their replacement program, which replaces the phone with another Samsung device, or a full refund of the purchase. Any users still using a Galaxy Note 7 are urged to take advantage of the replacement program through Samsung or authorized carrier stores. Carriers have also released updates to limit the use of the phone and to urge users to return them.