The past year has been a rough one for Samsung’s Note team. What was Samsung’s flagship phablet became a long-term news story about fires, explosions, and recalls. Samsung recalled the Note 7 entirely. This included the device in all its iterations from the market, both original and post-recall devices.
Months have passed since Samsung’s massive recall that successfully retrieved 96% of the Note 7 devices. Now, a new report of a fire is coming out of Samsung’s SDI’s Chinese manufacturing facility in Tianjin. This particular facility was also responsible for producing the original Note 7 batteries.
The fire started in the area reserved for faulty batteries according to Samsung SDI spokesperson Shin Yong-doo.
Reuters shared a statement from the Tianjin Fire Department. It read, “material that caught fire was lithium batteries inside the production workshops and some half-finished products.” This would indicate that it wasn’t necessarily the recycling area of the plant, but the area that produced batteries for products that were still in production.
These conflicting assessments aside, the story still stands that Samsung is still in the grip of an unusually long chain of events involving batteries and fire. The Note 7 battery issues resulted in 96 reported cases of overheating in the U.S.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported, “Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Note 7 phones.”
What Does this Mean for Samsung?
Samsung has a lot of public relations work to do. The Note 7’s recall had a major impact on the company’s mobile earnings. Customers that were burned by this recall will be less likely to choose Samsung’s next Note product.
More than anything, Samsung needs to stop having these problems. It needs to invest heavily in quality assurance improvements – and to do so publicly. Samsung would also benefit from a rebranding of its mobile line, though reports state that there are no plans to.
The words “fire” and “Samsung” should be nowhere near each other in the news for a while. Unfortunately for Samsung, this won’t happen anytime soon.