In the wake of Galaxy Note 7 buyers having to endure not one, but two recalls, Samsung has effectively killed the Galaxy Note 7; production has halted entirely users are advised to power them down at once, and all retail outlets with remaining units are being asked to get them back to Samsung as soon as possible. Things came to a head when a Galaxy Note 7 issued as a replacement for a recalled unit from the original run caught fire on a Southwest Airlines flight, luckily while the plane was still grounded. Samsung is working on their own investigation at the moment to figure out exactly why even replacement Galaxy Note 7 units are blowing up, but that’s not good enough for at least one governing body. The United States’ CPSC, or Consumer Product Safety Commission, is taking matters into their own hands. They’ve served a subpoena to the Louisville Fire Department, who was holding on to the charred device, and taken it to their labs in Bethesda, Maryland.
The CPSC’s normal procedure would be to go to the owner of a device or product before beginning the seizure process, but the device’s owner, Brian Green, did not respond to their initial attempts at contact, and the CPSC says that they were forced to act quickly in this case due to “exigent circumstances”, which they did not go into detail on. Fire departments aren’t typically in the business of holding on to burnt property, which means that they could potentially have lost the chance to investigate the device. Samsung’s own investigation could have also published results before theirs, which would then be spread and widely accepted, meaning that whatever the CPSC found could end up holding no weight in the public eye.
The seized device will be tested in undisclosed ways, with the ultimate goal of figuring out exactly why it went up in smoke. It is quite possible that the CPSC’s investigation could line up with Samsung’s, in which case the Korean company would be forced to bear any and all responsibility for the fire. The CPSC is likely going to be looking for any anomalies with this particular device and perhaps even comparing notes with Samsung along the way, though neither entity has yet stepped forward to say whether they’ll be cooperating and how closely. In any case, it seems that the long and sordid saga of the Galaxy Note 7 is still not quite over.