Samsung Blames Design Flaw & Manufacturing Problems For Note 7 Fires

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Samsung blames both a design flaw and other manufacturing problems for the massive recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

A Samsung executive apologized Monday as he detailed the results of the company’s investigation into what caused the smartphones to overheat and catch fire.

Samsung says since it began the recall last September, 700 researchers worked to replicate the problems using 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries. They concluded the original issue was a design flaw.

“It caused two parts of the battery to basically come into contact with each other, and short out,” explained Dan Ackerman, a senior writer at CNET. “And that caused overheating.”

The replacement phones had a problem with how the batteries were welded together. That led to an internal short circuit.

“They went through great pains to point out that in all of their testing, they didn’t find any flaws with the actual design and build of the phone hardware or the software in it,” Ackerman said. “They put all the blame strictly on the batteries and the manufacturers of those batteries.”

A source told CBS News the first battery was supplied by a Samsung company. The second battery was out-sourced. And the production problem there was linked to a rapid increase in production to replace all the phones from the initial recall.

In the United States, it received 13 reports of burns, 47 reports of property damage associated with Note 7 phones and a total of 96 reports of overheating batteries.

The results of a separate investigation into the overheating problems by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are still pending.

Samsung also announced an eight-point safety check on all its phones, which it says will exceed industry standards.

Worldwide, about 120,000 of the potentially dangerous Note 7s are still in circulation.

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