In the same week as Apple launched the iPhone 7 Samsung is having a problem with its rushed out copy, the Galaxy 7. They seem to be catching fire.
The fallout over the potential for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire is intensifying. The UK launch was set for Sept 2nd but has been delayed.
Samsung UK has offered the following information: “For UK customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks. For more information customers need to contact the customer service team.”
The New York Times reports that yesterday, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission urged owners of the smartphone to power down their Galaxy Note 7 devices and stop using them altogether.
“C.P.S.C. and Samsung are working cooperatively to formally announce an official recall of the devices as soon as possible,” the agency said in a statement. “C.P.S.C. is working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung or their phone carriers to provide to consumers.”
The C.P.S.C. is the main consumer product safety agency in the United States, with broad oversight over toys, tractors, appliances and electronics. This year, the C.P.S.C. recalled hoverboards that contained lithium-ion batteries; those batteries exploded or caught fire in dozens of cases.
The commission’s statement is the latest blow to Samsung and the Galaxy Note 7, which became available only two weeks ago. This month, Samsung said it would recall 2.5 million of the devices because of an issue with the lithium-ion batteries in the phones, which can catch fire and explode. The problem had affected 35 devices globally as of last week.
Samsung said it was voluntarily recalling the phones and “conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market.”
Air safety regulators worldwide have since advised passengers not to charge or turn on the smartphones inside an aircraft. Three Australian airlines have banned them. On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration also said it “strongly” advised passengers onboard planes not to use the Galaxy Note 7.
In a statement on Friday, Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America said, “We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note 7s and exchange them now.”
It was unclear if Samsung would provide refunds for Galaxy Note 7 customers who did not want a replacement provided by the company. All four major wireless carriers in the United States — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — have halted sales of the Galaxy Note 7 and have been given instructions to help owners make an exchange, Samsung said.
Tim Cook must be smiling.