Friday, September 16, 2016
U.S. safety regulators announced a formal recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone Thursday after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage.
Samsung already had initiated a voluntary recall, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stepped in to coordinate. Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye blasted Samsung for trying to do the recall on its own, saying that anyone who believes that a unilateral effort would be sufficient “needs to have more than their phone checked.”
Samsung sold about 2.5 million of its top-line smartphone, including about 1 million in the U.S. Kaye said the South Korean company has agreed to offer consumers the choice of a full refund or a replacement device. Before, Samsung was offering replacements only.
The recall comes as Samsung is locked in a fierce battle with Apple for the attentions of high-end smartphone purchasers. Apple just introduced the latest versions of its iPhone, which go on sale today. Samsung had beaten Apple to market with the Note 7 by weeks, and it was drawing favorable reviews before consumers began reporting problems with the battery overheating, resulting in fires and explosions.
Kaye at the consumer safety commission said Note 7 purchasers should check the back of their device for an identifying number, and visit Samsung’s recall website or call a hot line at 1-844-365-6197 to find out if the device needs to be turned in. If so, consumers can take the device back to Samsung or to the phone carrier that sold it.