AT&T Sunday halted Samsung Galaxy Note 7 replacements following reports of four phones catching fire, including one that forced the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight last week.
"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 in an emailed statement to Reuters.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed a Samsung phone, which was a replacement model of the fire-prone devices, produced the smoke, forcing evacuation of the plane.
The Verge reported a fourth phone caught fire Sunday in Richmond, Virginia. Shawn Minter said the phone was on his nightstand when it caught fire at 5:45 a.m., filling his bedroom with smoke.
“I woke up in a complete panic,” Minter said in an email to the Verge.
Two other replacement phones caught fire last week as well. A Farmington, Minnesota, teen told KSTP, St. Paul, she suffered a minor burn to her thumb when her replacement Note 7 began burning. The other incident occurred in Kentucky. Michael Klering of Nicholasville, told WKYT, Lexington, his phone caught fire while sitting unplugged in his bedroom, filling the room with smoke.
Tech Times reported a Samsung Note 7 exploded in Taiwan while the owner was out walking her dog. The phone was in her back pocket. It was unclear whether the phone was an original device or a replacement unit.
Endgadget reported Sunday Samsung is working with third parties to investigate the reports, which it said are being taken “seriously.”
"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," the statement said.
Samsung last month issued a recall for 2.5 million units, offering replacement phones and apologies. A second recall has not yet been issued.
“Having a second recall will be costly and may result in the electronics giant canceling the phone. The latest in a long line of incidents affecting the Samsung Note 7 indicates that there may be much more at fault with the phone than just faulty batteries from a supplier,” Mark Johnson, an associate professor of operations management at Warwick Business School, said in a statement.
Surveys indicate customers are disgusted. SurveyMonkey reported 26 percent of Note 7 owners planned to switch to iPhones, and 34 percent told Branding Brand they would not consider buying another Samsung device.