The Samsung Galaxy Note 7, praised for its bigger battery which could power the phone for an impressive nine hours, was supposed to be the next great phone for Samsung. According to The Washington Post, the company advertised that the phone was "designed to be a key that opens the door to new experiences on the go." Since its August 19, 2016 release, the Note 7 has indeed become known for all of the above, though not in the way Samsung had hoped.
On Thursday, September 15, 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the new Samsung phones, saying that defective Note 7 batteries had been linked to "26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage." The recall followed numerous reports, including one where police officers responded to a report of a car on fire in a residential neighborhood in a southern Florida beach town. Officers found a vehicle "fully engulfed in flames." The driver, who was unharmed, told police he had been charging his Samsung 7 phone when it burst into flames.
The first lawsuit related to the phone was believed to be made by a Florida man, who filed a claim against Samsung on September 9, 2016, alleging that his Galaxy Note 7 exploded and caused him severe burns on his right thigh and left thumb, Reuters reported. In the lawsuit, Jonathan Strobel claimed that his Note 7 exploded in his front pants pocket while he was at a Costco on September 9th. The explosion was intense enough to burn through his pants and also severely burn his left thumb when he reached in to try to remove the phone. "He has a deep second-degree burn, roughly the size of the phone, on his right thigh," Strobel's attorney, Keith Pierro, told Reuters.
Similar reports have continued to plague Samsung, since they first issued a voluntary recall of its Galaxy Note 7 phones because of a "battery issue" on September 2nd and offered to give replacement phones to customers who had bought the devices. The lithium-ion batteries in the phones could overheat and pose a safety risk, the company said after it had received a few dozen reports of Note 7 batteries catching on fire. "To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market," the company said in a statement. "However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7."
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in September, Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones after complaints of exploding batteries. After having a replacement program in place to replace the recalled Note 7's, Samsung insisted that all replaced devices were safe. However, that was followed by reports that those phones were catching fire too. A Kentucky man said he woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7, days after a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin.
Now, Samsung has permanently stopped production of the Galaxy Note 7. They had already reduced the Note 7 production volumes, but now, they have made the decision to completely stop producing the Note 7. Owners are expected to be able to return the phones for a refund or an exchange for a different Samsung phone. "We recently readjusted the production volume for thorough investigation and quality control, but putting consumer safety as top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s," the company said.
"For the benefit of consumers' safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production."
Consumer Tech Analyst Caroline Milanesi of Creative Strategies told the BBC that Samsung should "call it a day" on production of the Galaxy Note 7 to limit long-term risk to the brand.
However, South Korea's finance minister had warned that the country's exports would be hurt if the phone model was scrapped. In the end, Samsung decided that the safety of it's customers is what is most important.
Phones which set themselves on fire has the potential to cause several accidents. Whether a phone charging in a car causes the car to explore or a pedestrian with a smoking pocket walks into oncoming traffic, it appears that the Samsung Note 7 is a dangerous device. If you or anyone you know has been injured in a car accident due to the faulty manufacturing of a product such as the Samsung Note 7, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC today. Our attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with all types of personal injury cases and will fight to get you the help you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.