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Samsung; Image Courtesy of Deccan Chronicle, http://www.deccanchronicle.com/

Remember all of those Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Fires? Well, consumers will be glad to learn that, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Samsung officials have taken the necessary steps to try and figure out what went wrong. As for the rest of the industry, the safety agency has called for other manufacturers to “set better safety standards for batteries.”

CPSC; Image Courtesy of U.S. CPSC, https://twitter.com/uscpsc
CPSC; Image Courtesy of U.S. CPSC, https://twitter.com/uscpsc

In a statement, the chairman of the agency, Elliot Kaye, said:  the technology industry needs to modernize and improve the safety standards for lithium-ion batteries in consumer electronics and also stay ahead of new power sources that will inevitably come along and replace these.” These types of safety safeguards would include things like implementing more safeguards while designing and manufacturing batteries to ensure their safety. As for the Samsung fire fiasco, the CPSC is working closely with Samsung to better “assess the state of high-density battery technology, innovations in the marketplace, gaps in safety standards, and the research and regulatory activities in other countries.

But wait, what exactly happened with the Samsung phones to spur such a response and call for new safety standards? Well, last fall the phone underwent massive recalls and bans by airlines after many consumers experienced the batteries overheating. Some even caught fire, which led to the “final death update that essentially bricks any units remaining in the wild.” While there are a few diehard fans of the phone roaming about out there refusing to turn in their phones, the majority of people who had the phone exchanged them for different ones. Tim Baxter, “president of Samsung’s US arm,” is pleased with how many consumers traded in their phones, adding that “most recalls only result in about 20 percent to 30 percent of devices turned in.”

Burnt Note 7 Smartphone; Image Courtesy of CNN Tech, http://money.cnn.com/technology/
Burnt Note 7 Smartphone; Image Courtesy of CNN Tech, http://money.cnn.com/technology/

In an attempt to pinpoint the cause behind the overheating batteries, Samsung built testing facilities in each area where the phones were manufactured, including “Gumi, South Korea; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Huizhou and Tianjin, China.” With more than 700 engineers working on the problem, more than “200,000 Note 7 devices with batteries and more than 30,000 batteries on their own” were tested.

Fortunately, all of these tests revealed what caused the phone to overheat. “One was a design flaw that led to the first recall. The second was a manufacturing error introduced after Samsung’s second supplier ramped up production to meet demand as the sole Note 7 battery supplier.” While Samsung officials and engineers continue to tinker with the phone, CPSC plans to continue investigating the problem themselves, though they recognize that their efforts could never “measure up to Samsung’s efforts.”

Sources:

CPSC Urges Better Battery Safety After Samsung’s Note 7 Fiasco

Samsung Says Batteries Caused Note 7 Fires, May Delay New Phone Launch

Samsung Details Causes of Note 7 Fires but Questions Remain

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