Amid more reports of replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones catching fire, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Verizon said they’ve quit exchanging the phones for new versions. Samsung, meanwhile, said it is “temporarily adjusting” production of the phone.
The South Korean company said in a statement that the production change was to “take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters.” It didn’t elaborate on how it was changing production.
Three of the four major carriers, meanwhile, are halting programs that allowed Note7 owners to exchange the phones for replacement Note7 phones.
"Based on recent reports, we're no longer exchanging new Note7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents," AT&T said in a statement. The company added that it would exchange Note7s for other Samsung phones or models from competitors.
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T-Mobile, meanwhile, said, "While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note7 and exchanges for replacement Note7 devices." T-Mobile said customers could get a full refund for any Note7 and buy another phone.
And Verizon said that “any Verizon customer concerned about the safety of their replacement Note7 smartphone may take it back to the original point of purchase to exchange it for another smartphone.”
Sprint said customers concerned about their Note7 phones could exchange them for a different model, adding that it is “working collaboratively with Samsung to better understand the most recent concerns regarding replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones.”
Consumer Reports strongly urges consumers to stop using their Note7 phones and take advantage of the exchange offers given the reports of Note7 replacement phone fires and the willingness of the carriers to take back the phones.
Samsung said it respects the decision of the carriers to halt exchanges for replacement Note7 phones.
“We are working diligently with authorities and third-party experts and will share findings when we have completed the investigation,” the company said in a statement. “Even though there are a limited number of reports, we want to reassure customers that we are taking every report seriously. If we determine a product safety issue exists, Samsung will take immediate steps approved by the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission] to resolve the situation.”
The CPSC said it expected to have a comment later Monday.
Soon after the company and retailers started exchanging the models with replacement phones reports surfaced of more issues. On Oct. 5, a replacement Note7 on a Southwest Airlines flight reportedly started smoking, forcing officials to evacuate the plane.
The Verge reports that five other incidents have occurred, including one when a man in Kentucky awoke to find his bedroom filled with smoke and his replacement Note7 on fire. The website said another caught fire in the hands of a 13-year-old girl.
The Note7 problems are just one of three issues Samsung has wrestled with recently.
The company admitted in late September that some of its top-loader washing machines "pose a risk of personal injury or property damage." Some owners have reported that the machines exploded.
And Consumer Reports in July found that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active failed a water-resistance test.
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