These days we use our smartphones for almost everything. We keep it with us at all times. If our smartphone is not directly in our pockets or in our hands, it is probably in close proximity, which makes the Samsung battery explosions so dangerous.
The Samsung battery fiasco was quite possibly one of the biggest corporate scandals of 2016. It also caused the biggest smartphone recall that has ever happened. Over the summer, reports started to roll in of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosions. Users were uploading photos of their cell phones that were broken and burnt.
The phone debacle quickly snowballed once the stories made the press. The situation escalated even more after the Federal Aviation Administration released a statement. Fortune reported that “the Federal Aviation Administration advised passengers not to turn on or charge Note 7 smartphones aboard aircraft or stow them in plane cargo. (Most airlines now ban them from their cabins entirely.) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged Galaxy Note 7 owners to stop using their phones altogether.”
Shortly after, a formal recall was enacted. More specifically, Samsung recalled all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that were sold, which rounded to about one million phones. The situation significantly worsened when as “many as five of the supposedly safe replacement Note 7 phones caught fire as well”, according to CNet. Then Samsung asked all of their users to shut down their phones. The South Korean electronics company recalled all Samsung Galaxy Note 7s including replacements. It was a PR horror story for the company.
The company conducted an investigation into what went wrong with the phones and found the battery cell to be the source of the problem. Science Alert reported that “due to an undisclosed manufacturing defect, the lithium ion battery cell can overheat when charging, leading in some instances to the battery catching fire or exploding.”
It is unclear at this point how the effects of the recall will affect the company as a whole. Samsung’s smartphone chief, Koh Dong-jin, stated, “I can’t comment on exactly how much the cost will be, but it pains my heart that it will be such a big number.”