On Sunday, AT&T Mobility and mobile carrier T-Mobile US announced they would stop selling the Galaxy Note 7 until Samsung deals with the combustion issues of its handset. Both US carriers are waiting for further investigation on the reported incidents.
Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy Note 7 received great reviews upon release and even broke pre-order records in South Korea. However, on September 2, Samsung suspended Galaxy Note 7 sales and recalled 2.5 million units due to battery failure and combustion.
Subsequently, the South Korean company launched a worldwide product exchange program, too. Customers were able to exchange their Note 7 for another. They had until October 1 to turn in their phones through domestic carriers.
While the battery malfunction left many users confused about what to do next with their devices, the replacements have even left people injured. Since the beginning of October, there have been several incidents in which recently replaced Galaxy Note 7 phones still suffered from the same issues.
Combustion incident with replacement Galaxy Note 7 sent the owner to the hospital
The first reported incident happened on October 5. A replacement Galaxy Note 7 device exploded a when a flight was preparing to takeoff from the Louisville International Airport. The passenger had obtained the handset from an AT&T retail outlet.
Two days later, a second replacement smartphone melted in the hands of a 13-year-old girl in Minnesota. On October 8, a Galaxy Note 7 owner ended up in the hospital after his replacement caught fire. He suffered from acute bronchitis due to smoke inhalation. The worst part was that Samsung knew about the incident in Kentucky and said nothing about it.
The very next day, two more incidents occurred in Texas and Virginia. In both cases, the Galaxies exploded. In consequence, AT&T stated it would stop exchanging new Note 7 smartphones, while T-Mobile said it would halt sales as well as trades.
Samsung’s damaged replacements could lead to a second recall
During the first recall, Samsung gave customers the possibility to purchase their Galaxy Note 7 with another one or to replace it with a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. The electronics company refunded the difference.
Those who chose to pick up a new Note 7 could now go through another recall. Estimations said replacing all the 2.5 million devices sold before the recall would cost Samsung about $1 billion. Luckily for Samsung, not everyone turned in the Note 7s.
According to Samsung, 95% of its users have chosen maintain their use of a Samsung device. However, a second recall could prove catastrophic. The subsidiary that manufactures the batteries was the one to blame at first, but incidents with replacements could mean Samsung isn’t doing enough or doesn’t have a clue of how to fix the problem.