Samsung has announced a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone following reports that some of the devices were catching fire while being recharged, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal and various other media outlets confirmed in reports published early Friday morning.
The company halted sales of the new, waterproof entry in its flagship smartphone line earlier this week for additional quality control tests following online and social media reports that the device could randomly catch fire when charging the battery, the Journal explained in its report.
According to the Yonhap News Agency in South Korea, Koh Dong-jin, chief of the company’s mobile business division, apologized said that an internal investigation linked the problems to a faulty battery that affected just 24 out of every one million Galaxy Note 7 devices. Samsung has promised to replace all affected units both domestically and abroad, the news agency added.
In a statement, the firms said, “[As of September 1] there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally, and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7.”
Details on the replacement plan to be announced shortly
Samsung said that it would voluntarily replace the phones of those who had already purchased a Galaxy Note 7 and that it would take about two weeks to prepare replacement devices, according to Fortune. Details of the exchange program would be released in the near future, they added.
The move comes after multiple users posted online videos and images of devices which allegedly exploded or caught fire while charging (the authenticity of these photos and videos has not been independently verified by redOrbit). In one video, cited in a report by The Guardian, one Galaxy Note 7 owner showed a partially-melted handset, while other users have reported damage to their phone’s USB-port sides and fires resulting in the release of chemical-filled smoke.
No injuries have been reported, and Koh said that Samsung would work alongside its suppliers “to identify battery products that have a chance of being defective. It will take about two weeks to secure parts and components and prepare new products.” He also promised that the exchange would “be carried out as fast as possible” and that concerned customers would be able to “have their gadgets examined at the service centers” to ensure that the batteries are not faulty.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers,” the company said in its statement. “We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.”
Image credit: Engadget