Now, Samsung has halted production of its 5.7-inch flagship device following news that the recalled units issued to customers also faced overheating problems due to faulty batteries once again. The company said earlier Sunday it was "working diligently with authorities and third party experts" to identify the problem and will take immediate steps approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to resolve the situation.
Meanwhile, the CPSC and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a report of a recalled Galaxy Note 7 device that led to the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight on Wednesday. According to witnesses, a man was waiting for his flight to take off when he powered down his alleged [Galaxy Note 7], after which it started making popping noises and started smoking. "He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground,” said the man’s wife.
One passenger reported that the device burned through the airplane’s carpet and emitted smoke that began entering into the cockpit, enough to prompt an evacuation of the flight. Samsung has said it is working with authorities to find out what happened but couldn't confirm it was a replacement Note 7 device.
The company said that over half of its Note 7 devices have been returned in the recall program, while about 90 percent of users have chosen to trade their previous Note 7 for a newer one rather than a different device.
The airline event is one of several situations over the past week where recalled Note 7 devices have malfunctioned and prompted investigations. A teenage girl in Farmington, Minnesota reported feeling a burning sensation in her thumb while holding a replacement Note 7 device, during which point she dropped the device to the ground and it began producing smoke damage to the protective cover.
Another incident involved a man in Kentucky who reported he and his wife waking up to the device emitting a hissing sound in their bedroom, when several moments later the whole room was filled with smoke. The man was admitted to the emergency room after feeling nauseous and inhaling too much smoke.
“I was vomiting black so it was very scary. It was a lot of black stuff and it didn’t look right. The phone is supposed to be the replacement, so you would have thought it would be safe. It wasn’t plugged in. It wasn’t anything, it was just sitting there,” Klering said.
Image credit: iFixIt.com
According to iFixIt’s teardown, the Note 7 features a 3,500mAh, 13.48Wh battery with more capacity than the iPhone 6S Plus, though just shorter than the Galaxy S7 Edge. It is fortified by walls carved from the rear of the case. Now the company is heeding the advice of experts and consumer safety groups and will soon announce whether it intends to issue a second recall for the device. Meanwhile, it faces a balance of promoting its existing Galaxy lineup, addressing the current Note 7 market and customers, and preparing marketing strategies on any future devices it may have planned several months from now.