Galaxy Note 7 explosions are still being reported even two weeks after Samsung issued a recall. September 11, a Jeep in Florida caught on fire and was destroyed when one of the devices exploded in the vehicle. Despite false reports of charging mishaps emerging, the problem is still serious for Samsung. The primary concern is for consumer safety, but the explosions and fires caused by a faulty battery in some of the phone are hurting the company’s bottom line as well.
“HI Investment and Securities Analyst Myung Sub Song estimated that Samsung could lose $900 million by the end of the quarter,” stated the Inquisitr.
Immediately after people began reporting the problem on social media, Samsung launched and investigation into the issue. It confirmed 35 incidents of Galaxy Note 7 catastrophic failures and determined that the cause was from one of the batteries that it used for some of the phones.
The company uses two battery suppliers, and one of them supplied a faulty battery. Since there was no way to determine which phones had the defective storage cell, all Galaxy Note 7s were recalled and removed them from store shelves. Samsung initiated an exchange program, but the turn around time to get a replacement is two weeks. Many users are reluctant to give up their phone for so long despite the potential danger.
While the company seems to be doing the right thing, it has taken some heat for the way it has handled the recall.
Consumer Reports stated that Samsung should have informed the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the issue. In fact, the consumer advocate publication insinuates that the company is in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
BQ “According to the Consumer Product Safety Act, two of the criteria for reporting [to the CPSC] are if the product ‘contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard,’ or ‘creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.'”
The defective Galaxy Note 7 clearly falls into the law’s definition of a hazardous product. As such, Consumer Reports believes the CPSC should have been notified and as of last Friday, it has gotten involved.
In a statement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the US regulatory authority said, “CPSC and Samsung are working cooperatively to formally announce an official recall of the devices, as soon as possible. CPSC is working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung or their phone carriers to provide to consumers.”
Regardless of whether CPSC has a hand in the recall or not, there is still the issue of those who do not want to exchange their phones. To this end, Samsung is taking more persuasive action by issuing a software update for the device.
According to TechSpot, the company is working on a software update for the Galaxy Note 7 that will prevent it from charging past 60 percent. The hope is that limiting the charging time will prevent defective phones from overheating.
“If nothing else, maybe the charging limitation will serve as a nagging reminder for owners to take action and begin the recall process. Seriously, it’s not worth risking it folks,” TechSpot notes.
News of the update came from the South Korean publication, Seoul Shinmun, which said that Korean users could expect the update on September 20. However, the newspaper did not have any information on if or when the update would be available worldwide. Judging by Samsung’s response over the issue, it is highly unlikely that it will only roll out the limitation in its home country. In fact, TechSpot reports that the company is currently communicating with wireless providers regarding the update.
Neither the CPSC nor Samsung can go knocking on doors demanding users to turn over their Galaxy Note 7s, so it seems the most logical way to ensure safety is to partially disable the charging functionality of the phone through a software update. This move might irritate users who believe that that have one of the nondefective devices, but from the company’s standpoint, losing a few annoyed customers is a sacrifice worth making if it can prevent a tragedy.