The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Friday that owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone should stop using the devices. The warning follows reports of the phone exploding while charging, and Samsung's decision to stop selling it.
The CPSC also said that it's working with Samsung on an official recall of the Note7.
"Lithium-ion batteries pack a lot of power into a small package," the CPSC said in a statement. "When these batteries overheat and burst, the results can be serious."
The announcement comes just a day after the Federal Aviation Administration said that airline passengers should avoid using the phone on planes or packing it in checked baggage.
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The official recall, which Consumer Reports has called for, would make it illegal to sell the phone, trigger government oversight of Samsung's plan to replace potentially faulty units, and provide clear guidance to consumers.
"CPSC and Samsung are working cooperatively to formally announce an official recall of the devices, as soon as possible," the agency said. "CPSC is working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung or their phone carriers to provide to consumers."
Consumer Reports welcomed the progress on an official recall.
“We echo the CPSC’s warning that consumers should stop using the Note7," said Maria Rerecich, Consumer Reports director of electronics testing. "This is a serious potential safety hazard, and we are glad to hear that the agency and Samsung are working together on an official recall to most effectively protect the public. We initially called for a recall because such an action would make it illegal to sell the product, require an appropriate fix be in place, and provide clear and consistent guidance to consumers.”
The CPSC announcement comes as reports of problems with the Samsung Galaxy Note7 continue to surface. For instance, a Florida man said a charging Note7 caused his Jeep Grand Cherokee to catch fire, according to Fox 13 in Tampa, Fla.
Other owners of the phone have complained about their phones overheating, even when no fire has resulted.
Larry Joyner, a Maryland project engineer for a construction firm, said his phone started getting uncomfortably hot after just a few minutes of use—even when it wasn't plugged in to charge.
“It got to a point where I had to say ‘Sis, I’ve got to put you on speakerphone because I don’t want burn my cheek,’” Joyner said.
Consumers in the United States can wait for Samsung to issue new Galaxy Note7 phones, return them for a refund, or exhange them for other smartphone models at all four major U.S. carriers.
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