Samsung Electronics has blamed a minor battery manufacturing flaw for prompting a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones and is seeking more time to investigate the cause behind its deepest crisis in years.
The Korean company outlined the preliminary findings in a report to the country’s technology standards agency that has not previously been released.
Initial conclusions indicate an error in production that placed pressure on plates contained within battery cells. That, in turn, brought negative and positive poles into contact, triggering excessive heat.
However, Samsung said it needed to carry out a more thorough analysis to find “the exact cause” of battery damage. While executives have referred publicly to manufacturing slip -ups, Samsung’s report went into more detail about the potential flaws in battery design.
Samsung has scrambled to contain the fallout after 35 cases emerged of the Note 7 overheating or combusting, with 17 of those reported in its home market.
It decided on a complete recall of its marquee smartphone even though it meant ceding its head start over Apple’s latest iPhone.
In its report to the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards, the company emphasised it was pulling out all the stops.
“Even before we have the final result of the investigation, we plan to establish and carry out the best ways to take care of our customers,” the company said in its September 2 report to the agency, a regulatory body that sets policies as part of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.
“We are currently investigating the battery issue in cooperation with battery manufacturers.”
Samsung SDI was the main battery supplier for the Note 7, according to a source. Analysts had contended that the affiliate made most of the faulty batteries. The shares have fallen almost 10% since September 2.
The Note 7 had been one of Samsung’s best-reviewed phones before the company pulled the plug, hurting a stock that only just hit a record in August. Samsung lost $22bn (€19.6bn) in market value over two days as regulators, airlines and the company itself warned against use of the devices.
The company has said about 2.5m phones shipped before the recall to consumers and carriers.
Read their statement here.
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