Samsung ships 500,000 replacement Note7s for recall exchange

Any Note7 sold before Sept. 15 should be powered down due to potential fire hazard

Samsung said Tuesday that 500,000 new Note7 devices have been shipped to U.S. carriers and retailers to replace the smartphones recalled because of a fire hazard.

The devices will be available for exchange starting Wednesday, the company said in an emailed statement.

In all, 1 million Note7 devices were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last Thursday after reports surfaced that Note7s could catch fire. The problem was related to problems with the phones' lithium-ion batteries. The CPSC said Samsung had received 92 reports in the U.S. of batteries overheating, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage.

While Samsung has worked to provide replacement Note7s, the CPSC said consumers could also seek a full refund.

In a video posted Friday, a top Samsung executive in the U.S. said the replacement units were safe, that the battery issue was resolved and the findings were affirmed by a recognized battery expert. As of Friday, Samsung had exchanged about 130,000 Note7 smartphones in the U.S.

Samsung also announced a software update for the new Note7 devices in partnership with carriers that displays a green battery icon on the phone’s status bar (in the top right portion of the screen). The green icon indicates that consumers have a new Note7 with a new battery deemed safe.

Samsung and the CPSC said all users of Note7s sold prior to Sept. 15 need to power down their devices. For those who aren’t aware of the warnings, a software update will be pushed to all recalled devices that prompts the user to power down and exchange the device every time the user powers up or charges the device.

More information is available at Samsung’s recall website.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
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