Samsung to release Note 7 fire probe results this month

Seoul: The results of the investigation into what caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire are likely to be released this month, industry sources said on Monday.

The announcement is most likely to be made on January 10 or by the end of January at the latest, Yonhap news agency reported citing source with knowledge of the matter.

The South Korean tech giant asked the US-based safety organisation UL to find the root cause of phablets catching fire. It halted its sales over recurring battery problems.

Separately, the state-run Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL) also launched its own investigation into components of Samsung’s latest flagship phones after numerous reports of the device igniting.

Although the investigation has been separately conducted by the two sides, it is mostly likely for the KTL to announce the final result, the sources said.

“We have not yet confirmed the outcome of UL’s investigation,” said a KTL official without further elaborating.

The government and Samsung reportedly concluded the cause is not a simple battery malfunction, and the two sides are fine-tuning details to reach the final outcome.

Finding the exact cause of the Note 7’s problem is crucial for Samsung to win back consumers’ trust before the firm launches its new flagship model, the Galaxy S8, in April, industry watchers said.

“Samsung Electronics must transform itself after learning an expensive lesson last year,” Kwon Oh-hyun, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung, said on Monday.

The South Korean government, meanwhile, said it would strengthen its safety measures to prevent a similar problem.

“The government is preparing a revision to safety regulations to prevent a similar accident from occurring,” a government official said on the condition of anonymity.