Sam­sung urges con­sumers to stop us­ing Galaxy Note7

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Kim Tong-Hyung and Youkyung Lee

SEOUL, South Korea — Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics is urg­ing con­sumers world­wide to stop us­ing Galaxy Note7 smart­phones im­me­di­ately and ex­change them as soon as pos­si­ble, as more re­ports of the phones catch­ing fire emerged even af­ter the com­pany’s global re­call.

The call from the South Korean com­pany, the world’s largest smart­phone maker, comes af­ter U.S. au­thor­i­ties urged users to switch the Galaxy Note7 off and not use or charge it dur­ing a flight. Sev­eral air­lines around the world asked trav­el­ers not to switch on the jumbo smart­phone or put it in checked bag­gage, with some car­ri­ers ban­ning the phone on flights.

In a state­ment posted Satur­day on its web­site, Sam­sung asked users around the world to “im­me­di­ately” re­turn their ex­ist­ing Galaxy Note7 and get a re­place­ment.

“We are ask­ing users to power down their Galaxy Note7s and ex­change them as soon as pos­si­ble,” said Koh Dongjin, Sam­sung’s mo­bile pres­i­dent. “We are ex­pe­dit­ing re­place­ment de­vices so that they can be pro­vided through the ex­change pro­gram as con­ve­niently as pos­si­ble.”

Con­sumers can visit Sam­sung’s ser­vice cen­ters to re­ceive rental phones for tem­po­rary use. Sam­sung plans to pro­vide Galaxy Note7 de­vices with new bat­ter­ies in South Korea start­ing Sept. 19, but sched­ules for other coun­tries vary.

Ear­lier this month, Sam­sung an­nounced an un­prece­dented re­call of 2.5 mil­lion Galaxy Note7s world­wide just two weeks af­ter the phone was launched. That move came af­ter Sam­sung’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into re­ports of fires found that recharge­able lithium bat­ter­ies man­u­fac­tured by one of its sup­pli­ers were at fault.

The U.S. was among the first coun­tries to take a step fol­low­ing the re­call. Late Fri­day, the U.S. Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Com­mis- sion urged Galaxy Note7 own­ers to turn them off and leave them off. It also said it was work­ing with Sam­sung and hoped to have an of­fi­cial re­call “as soon as pos­si­ble.”

The re­call by the safety com­mis­sion will al­low the U.S. Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion to ban pas­sen­gers from car­ry­ing the phones on planes. The FAA al­ready warned air­line pas­sen­gers late Thurs­day not to turn on or charge the Galaxy Note7 dur­ing flights and not to put the smart­phone in their checked bags.

Scan­di­na­vian Air­lines said Satur­day that it has pro­hib­ited pas­sen­gers from us­ing the Galaxy Note7 on its flights be­cause of con­cerns about fires.

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines has also banned the use or charg­ing of the de­vice dur­ing flights.

Sam­sung said it had con­firmed 35 cases of the Galaxy Note7 catch­ing fire as of Sept. 1, most of them oc­cur­ring while the bat­tery was be­ing charged.

Sam­sung re­leased the Galaxy Note7 on Aug. 19.

AHN YOUNG-JOON/AP

A woman walks by an ad for Sam­sung’s new jumbo smart­phone Satur­day in Seoul, South Korea. The com­pany re­called Galaxy Note7s af­ter re­ports of them catch­ing fire.

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