As the FAA banned Note 7 devices from all U.S. flights – whether or not powered-on – it has emerged that Samsung used its own lab to test the Note 7 batteries prior to launch. The wireless industry trade group CTIA told the WSJ that Samsung was the only manufacturer to rely on in-house certification rather than using an independent lab.
Although Samsung’s own lab was CTIA certified, questions have been raised about the potential for conflicts of interest when a lab is signing-off the safety of its own products …
Tom Sawanobori, the chief technology officer at the CTIA, said the association audits test labs to ensure personnel are qualified, that they comply with standards, and that there is no undue influence from manufacturers. Test labs are typically in separate facilities and under separate control, he said.
CTIA testing involves testing batteries both on their own and while being used in a device, mostly focusing on the safety of a battery while charging and being used for calls, as these are the two activities likely to generate the most heat.
Samsung has yet to identify the cause of the Note 7 fires, saying only that it was ‘working around the clock’ on the investigation. The company also stated that it would be making ‘significant changes’ to its quality assurances processes. Er, yeah, one would certainly hope so!