Samsung has reportedly suspended the production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after the replacement devices offered by the company also allegedly caught fire, reports Reuters. Additionally, carriers in the US have stopped exchanging or selling Note 7 phones, a move likely to be replicated in the rest of the world.
The Galaxy 7 was launched on the 19th of August this year. By the end of the month, Samsung was already delaying shipments of the phone in order to perform “additional tests being conducted for product quality” as multiple reports of the phone catching fire surfaced. On 2nd September, the company suspended sales of the phone and issued a worldwide recall under a product exchange program.
The exchange program allowed users to get a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge in lieu of the Note 7 with the difference in price refunded to the customer. By the 8th of September, the US FAA issued an advisory asking flight passengers to not charge or switch on their Galaxy Note 7 devices, a move echoed by the European Aviation Safety Agency the next day. On the 15th, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission advised all owners of the device to shut it off and cease all usage.
According to Samsung, 80% of devices were replaced in South Korea, and around 50% each in Europe and North America. However, the company’s troubles had just begun. Earlier this month, multiple reports of the company’s replacement devices catching fire surfaced – a flight was evacuated prior to takeoff when a Note 7 began smoking and popping, a phone melted in the hands of a 13-year old girl, and another man suffered from acute bronchitis caused by smoke inhalation after he woke up to find his bedroom filled with smoke with the phone on fire.
Interestingly, the report mentions that the man later received a text message from a Samsung representative saying “Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it”, indicating that atleast some representatives of the company were not taking the issue seriously. While Samsung later mentioned that it was taking “every report seriously”, it will take a lot more to restore customer faith after multiple disasters and the company’s sluggishness to get every device recalled.