After back-to-back battery problems, Samsung is is permanently discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7. After initial reports of devices catching on fire, Samsung rolled out a voluntary recall where it swapped out 2.5 million smartphones across 10 countries with “safer” devices. In light of reports of replacement devices exploding, the South Korean company is investigating terminating production of the high-end smartphone.
“We are working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7,” said Samsung in a statement on Monday. “Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.”
What should Galaxy Note 7 owners do? From a safety standpoint, users should refrain from charging the device, power it down, and definitely not travel with it on flight.
Consumers should resist from trying to charge the device since several reported cases claim the device emitted smoke while charging. Take the case of the 25-year-old tech worker in China: CNN Money reports that while charging his phone overnight, the Galaxy Note 7 owner woke up to find black smoke coming from the device while it was connected to the charger. It later burst into flames.
Charging should not even be an idea to consider, as Samsung and the CPSC both recommend powering down the smartphone altogether.
"No one should have to be concerned their phone will endanger them, their family or their property,” said U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye in a statement to USA TODAY . “Due to the ongoing safety concerns associated with Galaxy Note 7 phones, it is the right move for Samsung to suspend the sale and exchange of all Galaxy Note 7s.”
What’s more, those who own the device should avoid taking the Galaxy Note 7 on a lfight. Prior to the official recall by the CPSC, but after Samsung’s voluntary recall, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a statement “strongly” advising passengers to refrain from bringing the smartphone on an aircraft and to not stow the Galaxy Note 7 in checked baggage.
More recently, a Galaxy Note 7 owner headed to Baltimore from Louisville on a Southwest Airlines flight had his device smoke up resulting in an evacuation of all passengers and crew. The device was a replacement device that was supposedly safe, as per Samsung’s new green battery icon that is, theoretically supposed to let the user know about their battery’s health.
Customers looking to swap the device for a different smartphone should contact their retailer to assess their options. Samsung is directing customers to visit samsung.com/us/note7recall or call 1-844-365-6197, and has mentioned that refunds are an option. “Consumers with an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 should power down and take advantage of the remedies available, including a refund at their place of purchase,” writes Samsung.
As per the Samsung website, owners or an original or replacement device have two options: they can exchange their Galaxy Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge (and also receive a refund on any price differences between accessories for the different models) or reach out to the original vendor to get a full refund.
Samsung rolled out the Galaxy Note 7 on Aug. 19. The company halted sales and issued a voluntary recall—also known as their global exchange program —on Sept. 2. The company’s preliminary findings suggested a battery production error. The CPSC issued an official recall in the U.S. on Sept. 15 shortly before replacement devices hit the market.