As if Samsung wasn’t under enough heat from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, the company suffered a literal fire at one of its factories on Wednesday caused by – you guessed it – faulty batteries. That is some irony right there for you.
The company says that a "minor fire" broke out Wednesday in a Samsung SDI plant in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin and had to be extinguished by 110 firefighters and 19 trucks, according to Reuters. Luckily though the fire was contained to a part of the site used for waste processing, including faulty batteries. There were no casualties or significant impact on the operations of the plant, said a spokesperson for the firm. Taking to Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, the Wuqing branch of the Tianjin fire department said that the “material that caught fire was lithium batteries inside the production workshops and some half-finished products”.
This comes several weeks after Samsung announced the findings of its investigation into the Galaxy Note 7 fires, officially blaming batteries supplied by both Samsung SDI, and Amperex Technology. The specific cause of combustion from the batteries supplied by Samsung SDI was put down to the corner of the battery casing being too small along with the batteries’ negative electrodes being too long.
Somewhat concerning is that batteries supplied by Samsung SDI are due to be in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. Though the firm said that it has "reassessed every step of the smartphone manufacturing process", that it has come up with a new "eight-point" battery safety check strategy, and has invested 150 billion won ($131 million) in safety, this fire being caused by faulty batteries does not fill us with confidence. At least those batteries are setting fire in a factory rather than making it onto the production line and into peoples pockets. Silver linings, eh?
Samsung will hope that this is the last chapter in an ongoing series of unfortunate events for the firm that has left the company with a $5.3 billion (£4.24 billion) hole in operating profit because of the Note 7 recall.