The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced it is recalling 1 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the U.S. for risk of fire, explosions and burns. Thus far, the CPSC reports it has received 92 reports of overheated batteries, at least 26 reported burns and 55 reports of property damage caused by fires in cars and garages due to the phone’s apparent malfunction.
Consumers were advised to immediately stop using the phones and power them down. These pertain to all Galaxy Note 7 phones purchased prior to September 2016. The manufacturer is reportedly offering free of charge a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery, or alternatively a full refund or a different replacement device.
As CNNMoney reported, this has left a lot of users in an odd place. That’s because many stores don’t have enough replacement devices yet. On the one hand, customers like their phones and certain features – like the stylus that allows them to copy-and-paste. The store offered them a “loaner” phone until it could get a replacement Note 7, but that loaner lacked many of the same features as the newer model. Some customers opined on Twitter that it would great if they could get a new phone that “doesn’t double as a hand grenade.” Another user stated that leaving his Note 7 on the charger each night, “Makes me appreciate each day like it might be my last.”
Joking aside, these devices reportedly have the potential to cause some real damage and serious personal injury.
The defective battery issue was reportedly acknowledged by the firm just a few weeks prior to the issuance of the formal recall. The devices were first unveiled in mid-August, though it became clear not long after there were major problems, despite mostly positive reviews on its design, battery life, speed and features. Soon after, social media began trending with reports, images and videos of the phones exploding or catching fire.
A recall like this is especially troubling because smart phones have become such an integral part of our everyday lives. They are with us almost everywhere we go – and even by our bedside tables at night. The Pew Research Center reported in 2015 that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults have a smartphone, which is double the 35 percent who said they had a smartphone in 2011. In certain groups, it’s even higher. For example, among those 18- to 29-years-old, 86 percent have a smartphone. The same is true of 83 percent of those between the ages of 30 and 49. Among those earning $75,000 or more annually, 87 percent have a smartphone. These groups are also the most likely to have the newest, latest model of smart phone and are probably more at-risk for dangers like this.
These statics are only expected to grow.
Samsung phones are manufactured in China, South Korea and New Jersey and have been sold at stores nationwide and online for between $850 and $890.
As our Miami defective product attorneys know, there have been a few reported cases of cell phones causing injury to consumers, including phones connected to this recall. There was a report just a few weeks ago that included an injury to a 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn, NY who was playing with a phone given to him by his grandfather. Although it was not a Note 7, it was reportedly still a Samsung phone. The phone reportedly suddenly burst into flames.
In St. Petersburg, FL, a social media user reported his Jeep was engulfed in flames in his driveway when a Note 7 exploded.
And in Palm Beach reports, a man was reportedly hospitalized when the Samsung Note 7 phone he was carrying in his pocket exploded.
If you have been injured by a defective product, call Chalik & Chalik at (954) 476-1000 or 1 (800) 873-9040.
Government Recall Issued for Samsung Note7 Over Battery Fire Hazard, Sept. 15, 2016, By Paul Blake, ABC News
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