Samsung Galaxy users were excited about the release of the Galaxy Note 7 in August. New features included an updated camera, a water resistant case and a state of the art screen display. All of those impressive aspects of the phone are not making headlines anymore, as the company has had to issue a recall of the popular model after reports of the lithium batteries in the phones catching fire and even exploding. Now, the 2.5 million phones sold are part of a worldwide recall.
Samsung reported 35 confirmed incidents of the batteries catching fire from when the phones hit the market on August 19th to September 1st. More occurrences have been hitting the news everyday including a family in St. Petersburg, FL, whose Jeep Grand Cherokee was burned beyond repair when the phone (which was being charged in the Jeep at the time) set off a series of explosions, completely destroying the vehicle. A woman in Illinois detailed how thick, black smoke filled her house after the phone sitting on her night stand started shooting out pieces when it overheated. Over the weekend a 6-year-old Brooklyn boy was playing with his grandmother’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and had to be taken to the hospital with first-degree burns to his hand. When he threw the smartphone to the ground, the burning device charred a portion of the floor.
The cause of the fires and explosions is linked to the lithium batteries produced by one of Samsung’s suppliers. Serious concerns about the phone came to light when the Federal Aviation Administration warned passengers about bringing the phones on airplanes just two weeks after the smartphones were available to customers. The FAA advised Galaxy 7 Note owners not to turn the phones on during flights and to not place the phones in checked baggage. In December 2015, the FAA put similar restrictions on hover boards, also due to concerns over the product’s lithium batteries overheating.
A day after the FAA issued their warning, the Consumer Product Safety Commission told owners to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 altogether. Not to turn it on or plug in to charge. Samsung is now encouraging customers to return their phones for a refund on an exchange for a different smartphone model. Those who choose to stick with the Galaxy Note 7 will be given a temporary phone on loan until the CPSC approves a new and safe version of the defective Note 7. Customers who take part in the exchange program will also be given a $25 gift card or bill credit from their mobile carrier. More details are available by calling 1-800-SAMSUNG or visiting Samsung’s website.
An injury from a defective product can be serious and lead to ongoing problems, as a result of something out of your control. If you have suffered an injury due to a defective product, please call the experienced and skilled attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to hold the manufactures responsible for your pain and suffering.
Update September 16, 2016: MTA and New Jersey Transit have advised riders not to use or charge Galaxy Note 7 Phones while riding trains and buses.
Update September 21, 2016: Samsung has announced that replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones are now available for customers to exchange their defective devices.