U.S. orders recall of Samsung Note 7 phones
The federal government on Thursday moved to recall Samsung’s highest-end smartphone — an unprecedented move for the smartphone industry and one that delivers a severe setback to Samsung in its pursuit to become the world’s premium smartphone maker.
Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have issued an official recall for the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung’s large- screen smartphone that has been known to burst into flames. This is the latest in a series of recalls involving lithium-ion batteries, which can be found in many different technologies.
In recent years, the battery has been blamed for exploding hoverboards, overheating laptops and the grounding of airplanes. But the recall may draw more attention due to the ubiquity of smartphones.
A formal recall allows the federal government to do several things, including making it illegal to sell the devices or use them on airplanes. Absent that formal process, several airlines have been announcing at the gate or before takeoff that the Note 7 cannot be charged or used on flights, citing the explosion risk.
This recall involved the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone sold before Thursday. Note 7 owners have two options: They can either exchange their affected Note 7 phones for a new phone, or get a refund.
U.S. officials said that 97 percent of the Note 7 phones sold in the U.S. have the type of batteries that have caused the fires.
The formal decision comes two weeks after reports surfaced that the smartphone could explode while users charged their handsets.
“Samsung received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S.,” the agency said. These include 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage — including fires in cars and a garage.
U.S. regulators issued an official recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, above, because of the risk of fires while charging.