When you're faced with a crisis, it's important to stay calm. It's what Samsung has been doing whilerecalling up to 2.5 million defective Galaxy Note7 phones prone to catching on fire.
But it's time for Samsung to fess up — nerdy technical details and all — on what exactly was wrong with the phones. It's no joke when faulty Note7s are exploding, but when their replacements are as well , andon planes? How is anybody supposed to trust Samsung to make a safe product ever again?
SEE ALSO: Smoking Samsung Galaxy Note7 replacement forced a plane evacuation
It starts with transparency. I'm no public relations expert, but I do know that there's nothing that assuages public fear and all of the facts that are blown out of proportion by news media outlets and social media better than the truth.
You don't cover up the issue and you don't just quietly pray that it goes away if you attack it quickly enough. Problems don't just disappear like that.
Consumer safety is at stake and customers who are deciding if they should stick with your brand need reassurance.
Explaining the truth, even if Samsung doesn't think most people will understand it, would show the company has full control of the situation and has done a thorough investigation into the heart of the problem.
It would put Samsung in a position of power compared to one that's been weakened.
While it's widely believed the Note7 was recalled because of faulty batteries produced by Samsung SDI, a battery supplier division within Samsung, the company has not confirmed the reports, nor has it explained in detail what is the real reason its batteries are combusting.
This is the most detailed explanation we have from Samsung UK :
Q. What is the issue?A: Based on our investigation, we learned that there was an issue with the battery cell. An overheating of the battery cell occurred when the anode-to-cathode came into contact which is a very rare manufacturing process error.
Q. Several Korean media articles identify Samsung SDI as the supplier of battery that is experiencing the issue? Can you confirm this?A: In order to meet market demands, we are working with multiple suppliers. Unfortunately we will not be able to confirm this as we work with several suppliers. We are currently working with all of them to protect our customers’ safety first and foremost.
A source close to Samsung told Mashable the company didn't want to divert attention from the recall and make it about battery suppliers, and instead wanted to focus on getting affected Note7 phones returned or exchanged as quickly as possible.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's hazard description for the recall only provides the following statement:
The lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Note7 smartphones can overheat and catch fire, posing a serious burn hazard to consumers.
So the batteries are overheating and could blow up because why ? Lithium-ion batteries are in tons of devices and they all come with safety warnings reminding consumers to store and operate them in optimal temperatures to prevent overheating.
The majority of exploding Note7 reports seem to support the overheating claims. Like that guy's car that was incinerated while his Note7 was charging inside under the hot Florida sun.
To prevent any chances of overheating, the Federal Aviation Administration has urged all flyers with unsafe Note7s to keep them powered off during flights.
But "overheating" isn't saying much. Phones overheat when you're playing intensive games with 3D graphics.
The fact is any device with a lithium-ion battery can explode .
If it's a case of a manufacturing problem from a specific battery supplier, then why are replacement "safe" devices, which reportedly contain batteries from China's Amperex Technology Limited, also catching on fire?
Going by these exploding replacement Note7 reports, it seems they're not actually being overheated. That would imply there's some other kind of problem that's causing Note7s to explode.
In South Korea, there were several reports of replacement Note7s suffering from overheating and quick battery drains . Those devices didn't explode and Samsung said they were an unrelated manufacturing error.
How many manufacturing errors can there be? What are the precautions Samsung is really taking when building replacement Note7s to protect consumers?
These are questions Samsung needs to answer and fast if the company wants to save its reputation as a phone maker.
There won't be many people lining up to buy aGalaxy S8 or Note8 next year if the company doesn't come clean on how it's overcoming the battery or manufacturing issues.
Trust can be repaired, but only if you tell the truth.