Update 09-15-16: The Consumer Product Safety Commission has officially recalled Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices sold before Sept 15, 2016. For more information, including details on reimbursement, please read the language on the commission’s website.
Samsung is trying to douse the flames from the growing Galaxy Note7 dumpster fire. The company confirmed it’s working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. government’s arm for ensuring products do no harm, on procedures for replacing the handsets with new models that won’t spontaneously catch on fire.
The latest statement by Samsung says in no uncertain terms that everyone should power off and stop using the Note7 immediately. The Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed that the Note7’s lithium-ion batteries are leading to fires and should not be ignored.
Samsung has pledged that current Note7 owners will get replacement devices, but the big question is when that’ll actually happen. The company needs approval from the Consumer Product Safety Commission before sending out new phones here in the U.S. That means right now your best option is a refund, or Samsung’s offer of a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, along with a reimbursement that recognizes the higher cost of the Note7.
Do you have a Note7? Then make sure you power it down, then call whichever retailer you bought the device from.
Confusion may reign for a while, however. Gizmodo reports on a Verizon customer who had a long and frustrating experience with a retail staff that didn’t quite know how to handle a simple replacement request. Meanwhile, explosions keep happening. A 6-year-old boy was burned when playing with his grandmother’s Note7 over the weekend. Last week, two separate Note7 explosions caused a Jeep and garage to catch fire. To say this is a black eye for Samsung is a major understatement given the size and scope of the damage, and the importance of the Note line in the smartphone landscape.
The impact on you: If you have a Note7, our advice is simple: Power it off and stop using it. Airlines are now telling passengers to power off and stow Note7s if they have one aboard. While the number of phones to catch fire is still relatively low compared to the overall number of Note7s out in the wild, the danger is clearly too high to roll the dice.