Sam­sung: No bat­tery prob­lems re­ported in China

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER -

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA >> Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics said Monday that its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the first re­port of a Galaxy Note 7 fire in China found no bat­tery prob­lem, re­duc­ing con­cerns that its smart­phone cri­sis had ex­panded to the world’s largest mo­bile phone mar­ket.

The South Korean tech giant said it was not able to in­ves­ti­gate a sec­ond re­ported fire be­cause it could not ob­tain that phone.

The two ac­counts of Galaxy Note 7 fires ap­peared on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia and were widely re­ported by Chi­nese and South Korean me­dia, rais­ing alarms be­cause the South Korean tech giant ear­lier said no Note 7 re­call was nec­es­sary in China be­cause the phones sold there did not have the bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing er­ror that caused fires in dozens of phones sold in other coun­tries.

Sam­sung an­nounced the global re­call of 2.5 mil­lion of its flag­ship smart­phones just two weeks after they were launched.

It is strug­gling to re­store con­sumer trust after 92 re­ports of Note 7 bat­ter­ies that over­heated or caught fire in the United States, which prompted an of­fi­cial govern­ment re­call there last week. The com­pany be­gan ship­ping new Note 7 phones to re­place the de­fec­tive ones this week in South Korea.

The Chi­nese bat­tery sup­plier for Note 7 phones sold in China said Monday the fires there ap­peared to be dif­fer­ent from those in other coun­tries.

“We be­lieve the heat prob­lem comes from out­side the bat­tery. A very large like­li­hood ex­ists that other fac­tors gave rise to the heat prob­lem,” Am­perex Tech­nol­ogy Ltd. said. It gave no in­di­ca­tion of what may have caused the prob­lems.

Sam­sung said its in­ves­ti­ga­tion sug­gested ex­ter­nal heat had da­m­aged the phone. South Korea’s Yon­hap News Agency and other South Korean me­dia said it may have been an ef­fort by con­sumers to tar­nish Sam­sung.

Sam­sung said it tried to ob­tain the phone in­volved in the sec­ond re­ported fire, but was not able to, cor­rect­ing its ear­lier state­ment that it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing both cases.

The Galaxy Note 7 re­call has been Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics’ big­gest cri­sis in re­cent years. Sam­sung has faced crit­i­cism that it failed to co­or­di­nate with govern­ment safety reg­u­la­tors and did not give clear in­for­ma­tion to con­sumers. Many air­lines have banned use of the Note 7, say­ing it is a flight haz­ard.

In its ini­tial an­nounce­ment on Sept. 2, Sam­sung did not say whether con­sumers could con­tinue to use the phones with­out dan­ger. A few days later, it urged them to im­me­di­ately turn off the phones. And last week, Sam­sung said it is rolling out a soft­ware up­date to the Note 7 phones that will limit the bat­tery charge to 60 per­cent but didn’t say whether all phones would au­to­mat­i­cally re­ceive it.

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