There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the Galaxy Note 7‘s battery disaster. Samsung is still trying to figure out the cause of the spontaneously combusting batteries, and it’s still unclear why the second round of supposedly safe Note 7s had the same problem as the first batch. Today, however, we may be getting a little insight into how these battery flaws went undetected in the first place.
Batteries for mobile phones have to go through a pretty rigorous testing process to receive CTIA certification. Samsung is one of the only manufacturers that has an internal CTIA testing facility, meaning that the batteries for the Galaxy Note 7 weren’t tested by a third party. While most manufacturers send their batteries to an off-site location for testing, Samsung has tested batteries in-house since 2009.
This means that the failings of the batteries in question lie with Samsung, as it failed to catch whatever problem caused the issue. Whether or not these flaws would have been uncovered by a third-party is unknown, though Samsung says it will be making “significant changes” to its testing process. The company didn’t say if that means it will begin using third-parties for battery testing.
As Eddie Forouzan, who’s a member of the IEEE committee that came up with battery testing standards, tells the Wall Street Journal, having manufacturers test their own batteries in-house potentially opens the door for conflicts of interest. On the other side of the coin, John Copeland – who helps run a certification lab in Atlanta – says that self-certification is normal and helps manufacturers protect trade secrets.
So, even though a third-party certification facility may not have caught these issues, this is just another layer of difficulty for Samsung. For its part, the company is still working to figure out what went wrong. Samsung says its “working around the clock” to find the cause, so hopefully we have those answers soon.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal