U.S. safety regulators announced a formal recall of all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones Thursday amid a mounting number of reports of the devices exploding and starting fires.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges all Samsung Note 7 users to stop using the devices immediately and make sure they are powered off. The recall affects about one million of the Samsung smartphones in the U.S. sold through wireless carriers and electronics stores nationwide for about $850.
Customers who have purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone since they were first made available to the public on Aug. 19 may return them to their wireless carrier or retail outlet to receive a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery, a refund, or another replacement device free of charge. More details are available at www.samsung.com.
According to the CPSC, Samsung has received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burn injuries and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage. Several more incidents of Note 7 smartphones combusting have been reported overseas, including one Australian man who woke up to find his charging Note 7 had set fire to his hotel room.
Samsung said the problem stems from the lithium-ion batteries made by one of its two battery suppliers.
The Korean electronics manufacturer initiated a voluntary global recall of about 2.5 million of the smartphones earlier this month, but it was criticized for not being clear about a remedy. The company also failed to advise consumers to avoid using the potentially dangerous phones, even as it continued to receive reports of explosions and fires.
“As a general matter it’s not a recipe for a successful recall for a company to go out on its own,” CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye said, adding that any company official who thinks they could manage a global recall solo “needs to have more than their phone checked.”