More trouble could be on the horizon for Samsung, which has already seen a PR nightmare play out as its Galaxy Note 7 phones keep exploding and catching fire. A Southwest Airlines flight was grounded Tuesday after a Galaxy Note 7 caught fire, and according to multiple reports it was a replacement model given to the customer after a mid-September recall over fire hazards.
The early morning incident happened on a flight that was boarding from Louisville, Kentucky, to Baltimore. The crew and passengers were able to exit without incident after the phone caught fire when the owner powered down his phone, following instructions from flight attendants.
Vox Media's tech site, the Verge, spoke with the owner of the phone, Brian Green. He told the Verge that he had picked up the new phone at an AT&T store on Sept. 21 and provided the website with a photo of the phone's box that had a black square symbol that indicated it was a replacement Note 7.
His wife, Sarah Green, told the Courier-Journal of Louisville a similar story after speaking with him from a different phone. "He said he had just powered it down, when it made a popping noise and started smoking," Sarah Green told the paper. "He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground."
The phone didn't seem to have any issues until it overheated Wednesday. "I would love to know why the replacement phone is doing what the other one was doing," Sarah Green told the Courier-Journal.
Samsung expressed skepticism over claims it was a replacement model, according to USA Today. "We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause," it told the paper in a statement.
Southwest rebooked all the passengers on later flights after the incident. The fire was apparently pretty violent. Green said that a colleague went back to grab personal belongings off the aircraft and noticed "the phone had burned through the carpet and scorched the subfloor of the plane," according to the Verge.
Green told the website he has already replaced the Samsung with an iPhone 7.