"Samsung says two different battery flaws were to blame for the fires that plagued its flagship Galaxy Note7 smartphone throughout the fall, leading to two separate recalls and, ultimately, the permanent withdrawal of the model from the market. The details are being released after an internal investigation, following weeks of speculation by reporters and analysts about what the company's report would conclude.
Consumer Reports and several other outlets were briefed on the findings in separate meetings on Thursday. An article published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday and widely cited by other news organizations said the report found that a number of the fires occurred because "some of the batteries were irregularly sized." That conflicts with details provided to Consumer Reports, and a Samsung representative said the information “did not come from Samsung.”
The company used batteries from two suppliers in its Note7 phones—a company division called Samsung SDI and a separate company, Amperex Technology Ltd., that makes batteries for many smartphone brands. Samsung officials said the batteries from the two companies were designed and manufactured differently, and failed for separate reasons.
That distinction is important, because it helps explain the unusual sequence of events during the recalls in the fall. Samsung first said it was stopping sales of the phone on Sept. 2, and announced a formal recall on Sept. 15 in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But, with permission from the CPSC, Samsung began distributing replacement Note7 phones just a few days later.
Soon these, too, started catching fire and a second recall was announced on Oct. 13.
Now, Samsung is saying that its investigation shows there was no reason to believe the new phones would malfunction. "It was a very tough period, and we are sorry," DJ Koh, Samsung's global president of mobile communications, said during the briefing. "The most important thing for us is customer safety," and, ultimately, "earning back customers' trust.""+Kwanghui Lim +Alfred Siew +Michael Tan