Samsung Recalling Galaxy Note 7 Phones Over Fire Hazard
When Samsung released their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on August 19, 2016, millions of tech fans around the world were excited to get their hands on the new device. Pre-orders for the Note 7 were extremely strong, even breaking records in some parts of the world. But less than two weeks after the phone’s release, reports started surfacing about the phones exploding or catching on fire. Samsung stopped shipments of the phones, carriers stopped selling the phones, and owners of the phone have been advised to trade their phones in for safer models as soon as possible.
Initially, there wasn’t an official recall for the phones. Instead, Samsung is called it a “product exchange program,” which is basically an unofficial, voluntary recall that doesn’t carry the legal implications that an official recall would. An official recall notice wasn’t made until September 15.
The issue with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phones is that some of the phones have defective batteries that are prone to overheating while being charged. When this happens, the phone can explode or catch on fire. At the beginning of September 2016, Samsung acknowledged being aware of 35 cases of this happening. It’s estimated that approximately 24 phones out of every million units is defective.
If you have a Note 7 phone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that you power the device down and stop using it. Phones play an extremely important role in our lives, so you might be tempted to keep using your phone anyway. However, these are very dangerous products and it’s simply not worth the risk. So far, the problems with the batteries have only been linked to 0.1% of all Note 7 devices, but if your phone happens to be one that has a defective battery, the results can be very serious. Some of the reports about fires caused by these phones have included destroyed cars, burnt down garages, and over $1,000 worth of damage to a hotel room. One six-year-old boy in Brooklyn was rushed to the hospital after the phone exploded in his hand.
Owners of Note 7 phones should go to the location where they bought the phone to learn more about how they can get a safer phone. One option is to replace your Note 7 with a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, the current models of those phones. You’ll also be able exchange any phone accessories you have that are specifically designed for the Note 7. Any price differences between the Note 7 and its accessories and your replacement phone and accessories will be refunded to you. If you’d rather wait for a safer Note 7 model to become available, that is another option. Replacement Note 7s are expected to become available on September 21. Some carrier locations may be able to give you a loaner phone while you wait. If you’d prefer to exchange your phone by mail, call 1-800-SAMSUNG for more information.
If you want to wait for a new Note 7, you might be wondering about how you can know for sure you weren’t sent one of the defective phones by mistake. The boxes for the updated Note 7s will have a round sticker with an “S” on it and a black square near the barcode. Samsung will also be launching a database where customers will be able to look up their phone’s IMEI number, which is the 15-digit code found by the barcode on the box your phone came in. The IMEI number on Note 7s can also be found near the phone’s USB port. Avoid buying secondhand models of these phones.