UPDATE: 02:50 a.m. EDT — Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it is adjusting shipment volumes of its troubled Galaxy Note 7 smartphones following reports of the phones catching fire due to overheating. The South Korea-based technology giant reportedly said, without elaborating further, that the adjustments are in place so the company can carry out in-depth inspections and improve quality control.
Samsung Electronics Co. has temporarily halted production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone following reports that the replacement phones were also overheating, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.
A source told Yonhap that the temporary suspension was taken to meet consumer safety regulations after consultations with regulators from South Korea, China and the U.S. “This measure includes a Samsung plant in Vietnam that is responsible for global shipments [of the Galaxy Note 7],” the official at a supplier for Samsung said.
A person familiar with the matter also confirmed to the Wall Street Journal on Monday that production of the Galaxy Note 7 has been temporarily suspended.
In early September, Samsung had announced a massive global recall of this model after reports emerged that the phone was catching fire due to overheating. Samsung recalled nearly 2.5 million models promising to replace the faulty lithium batteries. The South Korea-based company is now facing its biggest crisis in years. When the Galaxy Note 7 was launched in August, critics hailed the phone as one of the best Android models.
Samsung, which announced a global recall of the phone two weeks after its launch, recently began doling out the replacement phones that have a green battery icon indicating the phone is safe to use. However, consumers reported that even the phones with the green icon were overheating.
Last week, passengers of a Southwest Airlines Flight 994 traveling to Baltimore, Maryland, from Louisville, Kentucky, had to evacuate the plane after a Galaxy Note 7 unit caught fire and began to emit smoke. The phone in question was allegedly a replacement model.
Following reports of such incidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a probe into the faulty phones and has reached out to Samsung and the Federal Aviation Administration for the same.
AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier in the U.S., halted Samsung Galaxy Note 7 replacements Sunday. “Based on recent reports, we're no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents,” an AT&T spokesman said.
“We are working diligently with authorities and third party experts and will share findings when we have completed the investigation. Even though there are a limited number of reports, we want to reassure customers that we are taking every report seriously. If we determine a product safety issue exists, Samsung will take immediate steps approved by the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission] to resolve the situation,” Samsung said Sunday.