Samsung says it’s ‘adjusting’ output as Galaxy Note 7 crisis worsens
Company will make ‘adjustments’ in smartphone production to investigate why its batteries are catching fire, without providing more details
Samsung Electronics said it’s adjusting the production volume of its Galaxy Note 7 mobile phones, after network operators in the United States halted sales of the South Korean company’s flagship models over the weekend amid more reports of its battery catching fire.
A “temporary’ adjustment was being made “in order to conduct detailed inspections and improve quality control,” according to a Monday statement by the Seoul-based company, without elaborating on either the volume, or naming the factories affected.
Samsung neither confirmed nor denied an earlier Yonhap News Agency report that it suspended production of the Note 7 in several factories including in Vietnam, which supply its global markets.
The suspension “would ensure the safety of consumers, including in the US, China and Korea,” Yonhap had reported, citing an unnamed executive at a Samsung supplier.
The production halt was taken in coordination with government agencies including the South Korean Agency for Technology & Standards, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and various Chinese regulators, Yonhap said.
Ahead of that report, US carriers AT&T and T-Mobile separately announced they’re halting sales of Note 7, based on a series of fires and explosions allegedly involving the device, weeks after Samsung conducted a global recall and replacement programme.
Early last month, Samsung blamed faulty batteries supplied by its subsidiary for about 35 worldwide incidents of Note 7 phones catching fire.
“We have produced around 2.5 million units so far and plan to recall all of them,” Koh Dong-jin, the president of Samsung’s mobile communication business, said during a September 2 press briefing.
A majority of Hong Kong’s mobile network operators are still selling the Note 7.
Customer services officers at HKT’s 1010 service, SmarTone Telecommunications and Three Hong Kong separately confirmed on Monday that the Note 7 remained available at their stores.
They said there was no announcement on whether sales of the Note 7 will be halted in the city, despite actions being taken in the US and reports about production being suspended.
A local Samsung customer service officer said Note 7 units purchased from September 2 are unaffected by the exchange or recall policies, adding that there was no announcement about a halt in sales.