Technology

Samsung recall Galaxy Note7 over exploding batteries

samsung001Samsung officially recalls Galaxy Note7 over exploding batteries

It’s official: Samsung’s finally recalling its Galaxy Note7. The recall comes a week after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the Korean electronics giant was working with it on an official recall and advised Note7 owners to turn their devices off and stop charging them. The recall affects phones sold prior to Sept. 15.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe CPSC is advising Note7 owners to locate their device’s IMEI number on the back of the phone or packaging and enter it online in Samsung’s IMEI checker. The CPSC recommends Note7 owners “contact the wireless carrier, retail outlet or Samsung.com where you purchased your device to receive free of charge a new Galaxy Note7 with a different battery, a refund or a new replacement device. Go to www.samsung.com for more details.”

“Samsung has received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage,” states the CPSC.

Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, also urged Note7 users to turn them off and exchange them through its replacement program. “New Note7 replacement devices will be issued to exchange program participants upon completion of the CPSC process. In the interim, consumers can return their Note7 for another device,” Baxter said in an emailed statement.

The source of the explosions appears to be faulty batteries produced by Samsung’s SDI battery division. While investigations are still ongoing, Samsung UKwrote: “Based on our investigation, we learned that there was an issue with the battery cell. An overheating of the battery cell occurred when the anode-to-cathode came into contact which is a very rare manufacturing process error.”

It’s believed only Note7 phones, which made up about 70 percent of up to 2.5 million phones shipped worldwide before Samsung halted production, had faulty batteries produced by Samsung SDI. Note7 phones shipped to China appeared to be unaffected since they contained batteries made by the country’s Amperex Technology Limited. However, Reutersreported on Wednesday Samsung’s recalling 1,858 Note7 phones in China. Samsung hasn’t publicly laid out plans for the limited China recall. China’s civil aviation authority has banned using, charging and storing the phones in checked-in baggage on flights.

note-7-charredThe severity of the defective Note7 batteries has heightened since Samsung created a Note7 replacement program following 35 reports of phones inexplicably combusting.

One Florida man’s Jeep was reportedly destroyed after his Note7 exploded and engulfed his vehicle in flames. Earlier this week, a 6-year-old was injured from a Note7.

Meanwhile, Canada has reportedly recalled about 22,000 Note7 phones that were sold between Aug. 19 and Sept. 1.

The explosive Note7 has prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and various other public transportation systems such as New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to issue official warnings against using the Note7.

samsung-galaxy-note-7-blue-13-630x420In South Korea, Samsung plans to release a software update that’ll limit Note7 charging to 60 percent, preventing them from overcharging and overheating, and potentially exploding. The software update is a preventative measure for existing Note7 owners who have not replaced their defective devices.

It’s unclear if the software update will be released for Note7 devices outside of South Korea. A U.S. Samsung representative told Mashable the company couldn’t comment on future plans (presumably as it figures out an official recall protocol with the CPSC) and that it’s only encouraging Note7 users to power their devices down and exchange them or receive a loaner phone.

Mashable has created a resource on how to exchange your Note7 in the U.S., which can be found here.

The Note7 disaster has caused Samsung’s stock to plunge with losses as much as $14.3 billion since the unofficial recalls and exchange programs according toMarketWatch.

– Roy Wong

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