In order to avoid fire issues like the one that forced Samsung to recall its high-end Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, South Korea has decided to strengthen lithium-ion battery safety requirements and conduct regular inspections.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in a statement on Monday (6 February) said the manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries would have to go through greater oversight and inspections. Apart from that devices powered with lithium-ion batteries would also undergo rigorous safety tests, Reuters reported.
"We ask that the industry shares the view that making efforts to ensure safety is equally as critical as developing new products through technological innovation," said Vice Minister Jeong Marn-ki.
The government said it would monitor Samsung's steps to improve the battery safety including x-ray testing and stricter standards during the design process.
According to the Reuters report, the government would strengthen requirements related to recall and broaden the types of serious product defects that the manufacturers will report to the government. It will also seek legal changes to allow the government to warn consumers to stop using the faulty products.
Samsung scrapped its Note 7 smartphones in October after reports about devices catching fire due to faulty batteries emerged.
After months of investigation, Samsung and other independent investigators in January revealed different battery problems from two suppliers caused some Note 7 to explode. Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology were the two suppliers of batteries used in the Note 7.
The state-run Korean Testing Laboratory, in a separate investigation, found a combination of manufacturing and design faults with the batteries cause the fire incidents.