As we wait for Samsung to publish the results of an official investigation into problems that led to the recall of its Galaxy Note 7, a teardown by the manufacturing engineering company Instrumental has revealed that the smartphone’s battery did not have enough physical room for error, which caused pressure buildup, short-circuit and fires.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury from an exploding Samsung phone, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
December 7, 2016 – The teardown determined that the Note 7’s battery is contained within a CNC-machined pocket that only leaves between 0.1 mm and 0.5 mm of space for the cell to expand. The battery measures 5.2 mm thick, and the pocket is only 5.2 mm deep.
According to the engineers that performed the teardown, Samsung should have left at least 0.5 mm for battery expansion, as all lithium-ion batteries expand as they are charged and discharged over time. Failing to accommodate for this extra space increases pressure on the cell, putting it at a greater risk of exploding, according to the engineers.
On September 2, Samsung recalled the Note 7 in 10 countries, including the U.S., just 2 weeks after the product was launched. Six weeks later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned the devices on all U.S. flights after nearly 100 incidents of the devices catching fire and sometimes exploding. The flight ban means that the Note 7 is considered a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations, which prohibit airline passengers from traveling with lithium cells, batteries or portable electronic devices that are capable of generating a dangerous amount of heat.
Many early reports about exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones speculated that the problem was caused by a breakdown in the lithium ion battery’s electrolyte-soaked separators, and the teardown seems to confirm this. The engineers concluded that excessive pressure on the battery forces the positive and negative layers of the thin polymer separator to touch, causing the battery to catch fire.
“Looking at the design, Samsung engineers were clearly trying to balance the risk of a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity, while attempting to protect it internally,” Instrumental concluded. “Samsung took a deliberate step toward danger, and their existing test infrastructure and design validation process failed them.”
Do I Have a Samsung Note 7 Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Samsung Galaxy lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new explosion and burn injury cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by an exploding Galaxy Note 7 or other Samsung smartphone, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.