Samsung and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced a formal recall of the Galaxy Note 7. Roughly 1 million phones sold before September 15 have been recalled in the U.S. The company has stopped all sales and shipments of the Note 7. Airlines have banned customers from using them on flights. The company reports that it is working with government agencies and cellular carriers to provide refunds and exchanges for the phone.
Problems with the phone’s exploding battery prompted the formal recall. The CPSC has received 92 reports of units with overheating batteries, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage. The CPSC’s recommendation says, “Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15th, 2016.” The notice from the CPSC makes it illegal to attempt to sell or resell one of the recalled Note 7 phones.
The situation has become a pressing and financially sensitive situation for Samsung. The company launched the Galaxy Note 7 in late August. Users quickly noticed that some Notes would overheat and start fires. Problems with the phone’s battery were first acknowledged by Samsung on September 2nd. In the days since the acknowledgement, Samsung’s stock has experienced the largest price decline since the company went public 28 years ago.
Tim Baxter, president and chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics America, said in a video statement, “To those of you who love the Note, the most loyal customers in our Samsung family: We appreciate your passion and your patience. We take seriously our responsibility to address your concerns about safety. And we will work, every day, to earn back your trust.”
Samsung issued a warning to Galaxy Note 7 users a couple weeks ago to exchange their devices because they were potentially explosive. The company issued a software update that caps the battery capacity at 60 percent to South Korean owners earlier this week as a stopgap measure. The update will supposedly prevent overheating and battery combustion.
Samsung customers can return or replace the device. Consumers who choose to replace their device will receive a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery or a new replacement device free of charge. Those who choose to return the device will receive a refund. Only 130,000 Note 7 units have been returned as part of Samsung’s exchange program, according to Baxter.
T-Mobile expects shipments of replacement Note 7’s to arrive “no later than September 21st.” The company says customers will receive a full refund and the money can put toward any device in T-Mobile’s inventory. T-Mobile is also including a $25 credit on their monthly cell bill.
AT&T also issued a statement saying inventory of new Galaxy Note 7s will be received no later than September 21st. AT&T customers with the original Note 7 will receive replacement devices that have been tested by Samsung and approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Customers can also choose to receive a refund for the device and associated accessories.