By Dustin Niles
(TEANECK) – “A United States government safety agency urged all consumers to stop using Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are prone to catch fire,” according to Reuters after a series of incidents involving overheating cell phones.
This includes one case involving a 6-year-old boy from Brooklyn, according to CNET. Samsung has voluntarily issued a recall on the phones in 10 markets, including the U.S., according to Reuters.
Reuters also reported that some analysts suggest that Samsung may lose $5 billion in revenue. Two and a half million of the devices have been sold worldwide, and users in the U.S. can trade the phones in for one of several models and a $25 gift card, according to Reuters.
U.S. government officials expressed criticism on how Samsung handled the recall and how they went out on their own to recollect the phones.
“I will say as a general matter that it’s not a recipe for a successful recall for a company to go out on its own,” Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman Elliot F. Kaye said, according to The New York Times.
Jennifer Shecter, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Consumer Reports, said her company found that some stores were still selling the defective phones “days after Samsung’s announcement,” according to The New York Times.
Samsung’s stocks and market value have dropped significantly since the announcements made by the C.P.S.C. and Samsung. The debacle endangers South Korea’s economy in general, as Samsung accounts for one fifth of the country’s exports, according to The New York Times.
In addition to the voluntary recall and the warning by the U.S. government, airlines have also made statements related to the phones. “Travelers should not use or charge them while in the air, or stow them in checked luggage,” the U.S. Federal Aviation Association said.
The three largest airlines, United, Delta and American, began telling customers to turn off the phones before boarding and keep them off until the get off the plane, according to Reuters.
Reports of the danger surrounding the Samsung phones surfaced when phones were occasionally overheating at extreme levels, and in some cases catching fire or exploding. In addition to the burns sustained by the 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn, a Florida man named Nathan Dornacher lost his car when it was set aflame by a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 just days after the recall was announced, according to TIME magazine.
“Not the barbecue I wanted on my day off,” said Dornacher on Facebook.
Since Sept. 16, Samsung has received 92 reports of batteries overheating, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, according to The Wall Street Journal.
But the recall hasn’t fixed all the problems with the new phones. In South Korea, there have been reports of the replacement phones having the same issues as the old ones, and in the new phones the batteries are non-removable, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Samsung acknowledged on Sept. 23 that there have been complaints about the new phones, and South Korean television network YTN began reporting incidents with new phones on Sept 22, according to The Wall Street Journal. These reports have so far only been filed in South Korea as of Sept. 25.
According to BGR.com, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone also exploded in the Philippines. This is not a similar situation necessarily, as the phone has been on sale for months without a problem.
However, another Galaxy S7 Edge gave a New Jersey man second and third-degree burns after it exploded in his shirt pocket, according to BGR.com.
The Samsung Note 7 was released ten days earlier than its predecessor this year, as a plan to establish the product before its rival, the Apple iPhone 7, released a month later.