Samsung’s Note7 smartphone has been a hot topic since its launch last month, but not for the reasons the company hoped.
After a string of explosions, including one that burned set a Florida man’s Jeep on fire, Samsung this weekend urged buyers to exchange their potentially faulty Note7 hardware. This weekend, a 6-year-old Brooklyn boy was reportedly rushed to the hospital to treat burns caused by a defective unit.
On Sept. 2, Samsung reported that there had been 35 cases of exploding batteries. After tracing the cause to a “battery cell issue,” Samsung stopped the sale of the Note 7 and announced a replacement program.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cautioned travelers about flying with the device in a Sept. 8 statement. “In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage,” wrote the agency on its website.
On Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced it was working with Samsung on an official recall, noting that the incidents involving exploding Note7s had occurred during normal use and while charging. “Lithium-ion batteries pack a lot of power into a small package. When these batteries overheat and burst, the results can be serious. This is why the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device.”
This weekend, DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, released a statement urging users to power down their Galaxy Note7 devices and exchange them. “We are expediting replacement devices so that they can be provided through the exchange program as conveniently as possible and in compliance with related regulations. We sincerely thank our customers for their understanding and patience.”
In the U.S., Samsung will exchange a current Note7 with a new unit, pending the CPSC’s approval said the company. Select carriers and retailers may offer a Samsung J Series smartphone as a loaner until the stock of safe Note7 hardware is replenished.
Alternately, buyers can opt for Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge and get a refund for price difference and receive replacements for their Note7-specific accessories. Samsung will also offer $25 in the form of a gift card, bill credit or in-store credit from select carrier stores.
More information on Samsung’s U.S. Note7 Exchange Program is available here.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.