Not even two months after Samsung first released the Galaxy Note 7, the phone has already been recalled, replaced, only to be discontinued. Now, for the second time in five weeks, Samsung and U.S. safety regulators have issued an official recall covering all Galaxy Note 7 phones.
The expanded recall now covers all 1.9 million Note 7 units — both the originals that have yet to be returned and the phones that have been given out as replacements or sold as new since the recall was first announced.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Samsung has received 96 reports in the U.S. alone of overheating Note 7 batteries, including 23 incidents that apparently occurred after the recall. The electronics giant has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with the Note 7.
If you have a Note 7, the CPSC advises that you should immediately stop using it and power down the device. Contact your wireless carrier/retailer/Samsung.com (wherever you purchased the device) to receive a refund or free exchange for a new replacement phone plus incentives. If you bought your phone from a different source, contact Samsung directly.
“The Galaxy Note 7 recall has proven to be a real challenge for Samsung,” says CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye in a statement. “I am very concerned that consumers who exchanged their phones for replacement Galaxy Note 7s are now at risk again. We at CPSC have worked diligently under difficult circumstances to protect consumers and bring this matter to an appropriate close. CPSC will continue to hold Samsung and other companies accountable when consumer safety is put at risk.”
The Note 7, the latest in Samsung’s flagship line of mobile devices, was released in South Korea and the U.S. on Aug. 19. Within days, there were a handful of reports of the pricey phone overheating and even catching fire while charging.
By the end of August, Samsung was delaying shipments of the Note 7 while it investigated these incidents, and on Sept. 2, the company announced that it would recall the phone and allow customers to exchange their phones for ones without the apparent defect.
However, that announcement and exchange program is not the same as an official recall done in coordination with the CPSC. A CPSC recall means that no one can legally sell or resell a recalled product. It also allows other agencies, like the Federal Aviation Administration, to bar travelers from carrying these potentially unsafe phones onto airplanes. Without the official recall, the FAA was limited in its ability to prohibit carrying of the Note 7.
After the official recall was announced on Sept. 15, Samsung’s exchange program kicked into high gear. However, not only did a number of customers complain about short supplies and bad customer service, but there were soon reports that the replacement devices were also overheating and catching fire.
The two most notable incidents occurred in the last two weeks, including a reportedly new Note 7 that spewed smoke on a Southwest Airlines plane, and this smoking phone caught on camera at a South Korean Burger King:
In response to concerns that the replacement phones were still dangerously defective, all four major wireless carriers and Best Buy stopped selling the Note 7 and Samsung again shut down production, at first temporarily but now permanently.
On Wednesday, before the CPSC announced the second recall, the Yonhap news agency reported that the head of Samsung’s mobile division tried to allay concerns about the long-term impact on the company.
“Leaving the considerable amount of financial losses aside, I am well aware of the scars the situation that unfolded over the past few weeks and today’s decision will have on our executives and employees,” reads a letter sent to employees, according to Yonhap. “As the chief of the division, I myself can’t help feeling frustrated.”
While Samsung has still not fully sorted out exactly what’s causing the overheated batteries, the executive promised in the latter to “identify the fundamental cause at any cost so that all of our customers can restore trust in Samsung’s products.”
by Chris Morran via Consumerist