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Samsung Blames Small Battery Flaw for Prompting Note 7 Recall

Samsung Electronics Co. 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 hasn’t 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. Samsung however stressed that it needed to carry out a more thorough analysis to determine “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. The company 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 plus-sized marquee smartphone even though it meant ceding its head-start over Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone.
In its report to the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards, the company emphasized 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 Sept. 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.”

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