What’s the matter with Samsung? What they must do now.

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When Samsung began recalling their new Galaxy Note 7 phones, due to many of them exploding and catching fire, it took them almost 2 weeks to notify the US Government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission. Samsung tried a voluntary recall rather than reporting it to the CPSC. That was their first mistake. The law required them to inform the CPSC immediately when a product is found to have a safety issue of any significance.

Then they blamed the problem on a defective batteries.  2 weeks later they said that the problem has been fixed and a half-million replacement phones were being shipped to the U.S. to be exchanged with the defective ones.

Today, one of the replacement phones, carried by a passenger on a Southwest flight, caught fire and the plane had to be taken out of service for the damage the phone caused to the floor of the plane. .

Which all raises these 3 important questions:

  1. Was the original defect really the battery? Show us the evidence. And how did they pass the original testing?
  2. How could Samsung diagnose the cause, remanufacture a half million replacement phones, fully test the new phones, and do it all so quickly, in just 2 weeks?  Could they have known about the original battery problem and were already making the phones when the problem surfaced?
  3. What testing was done on these replacement phones? Produce the test results and show us why they are better than the original phones.

Samsung wants us to trust them, but they’ve shown us several times now that we can’t. It’s time to come forth and provide us with more detailed information to gain back our trust. Explain in detail what happened and convene a panel of engineering experts to review the results.

Otherwise this will likely have a devastating impact on Samsung’s reputation and severely impact their worldwide phone business.  This is a really big deal, on the order of some of the more memorable recalls, including the Chevy Corvair and Ford Pinto.

It never had to come to this, but Samsung has brought it on themselves.

by Phil Baker

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