Society

US Government Formally Recalls Samsung Galaxy Note 7

| by Nik Bonopartis
The Galaxy Note 7The Galaxy Note 7

Less than a week after Samsung announced it was recalling its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones -- and told owners of the Note 7 to power down their phones -- the federal government stepped in on Sept. 15.

Echoing Samsung's earlier warnings, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told Note 7 owners to "immediately stop using and power down" the smartphones, CNN reported.

Samsung said it would stop selling the faulty smartphones on Sept. 2. In all, the company has received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S., as well as 55 incidents of property damage from phones that have exploded or caught fire.

In addition, at least 26 people were injured -- most with burns -- when their Note 7s caught fire or exploded. Among them was a 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn, New York, who was watching a movie on his phone on Sept. 10 when it reportedly exploded in his hands.

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“The child was watching videos on the phone when the battery exploded,” Linda Lewis, the boy's grandmother, told the New York Post. “It set off alarms in my house.”

The boy was treated for burns at a local hospital and released.

In another incident, a Florida man left his Note 7 charging in his Jeep's center console while moving furniture inside his house. When he came back out, the phone had burst into flames and the Jeep was destroyed.

Since then, the FAA has warned passengers they must turn their Note 7s off and must secure the power switch so the phone cannot accidentally power up during a flight. Some cities have also issued warnings for passengers using mass transit systems, according to The Guardian.

Elliot Kaye, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, criticized Samsung for not coordinating with his agency since deciding to go ahead with a recall.

“As a general matter it’s not a recipe for a successful recall for a company to go out on its own,” he said.

Samsung has recalled an estimated 2.5 million of the impacted $850 phones at what analysts say could be a disastrous time as Apple rolls out its new iPhone 7.

Consumers can get a replacement Note 7 or a refund.

Sources: CNN, The Guardian, New York Post / Photo credit: CNET

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