CPSC Looking at Battery Concerns on Other Samsung Smartphones


Posted on: September 15th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — There may be more Samsung smartphones with battery problems than the company has acknowledged so far. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is looking into reports that Samsung phones other than the Galaxy Note7 may have led to fires, ABC News has learned.

Samsung has denied a broader problem with exploding batteries in its popular smartphones, saying that the battery issue — which several reports allege is causing phones to explode and start fires — is isolated to its recently-debuted Note7.

However, an ABC News examination has uncovered at least six incidents around the world where consumers have reported Samsung phones that are not the Note7 have caught fire or otherwise posed a risk to user safety.

Those include a car owner in Port St. Lucie, Florida whose family claimed his Galaxy S7 was charging when his car caught fire; a woman in the U.K. whose Galaxy S7 appeared to melt and start smoking in a restaurant; and a 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn, New York who reportedly suffered burns when an S4 exploded while he was using it to watch videos.

“Recent reports suggesting Samsung’s battery issue goes beyond the Galaxy Note7 are not true,” a spokesperson for Samsung told ABC News in an email. “The battery cell issue announced earlier this month is isolated to one battery manufacturer for one specific phone model.”

Recall Confusion

Reports of other models having battery issues adds more scrutiny to the company, which has been criticized for its handling of problems with the recently-debuted Note7.

The company did not pursue an official recall, initially, electing instead to establish its own “product exchange program” on Sept. 2. Under its plan, a customer could either temporarily exchange the Note7 for a different model until a replacement Note7 was made available the following week. Alternatively, the customer could trade in that Note7 for one of two other models and get a refund for the price difference.

A week later, on Sept. 9, the company acknowledged it was pursuing an official recall that would be sanctioned by the CPSC. At that point, details about the exchange program were updated to say that Note7 replacements were pending CPSC approval and no time frame for the availability of a replacement was given.

In an email to ABC News early on Thursday, a Samsung spokesperson said, “We understand that our consumers are waiting for more information, and we are collaborating with the CPSC to deliver a solution specifically for our Note7 owners as quickly as possible.”

The company has said that it “is continuing to work with the CPSC and our carrier partners to develop and evaluate solutions that are best for U.S. Note7 owners. No action will be taken without the approval of the CPSC. Customer safety remains our top priority.”

In the meantime, the CPSC is urging consumers to not use or charge the Note7, while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is strongly urging passengers not to power on or charge the phones on board planes.

However, without an official recall, the phone can still be legally sold and the FAA cannot ban the device from flight.

Company Apologies Abroad

Meanwhile, Samsung has printed apologies in every major newspaper in South Korea — including those that print in English — which details remedies for South Korean customers affected by the Note7 issue. The possible options mentioned include cash payments for the inconvenience and replacement devices that could be available on Sept. 19.

However, such apologies have not appeared in the U.S. media and do not appear to be on Samsung’s website.

When asked by ABC News why an apology was not offered to U.S. consumers, a spokesperson said, “we have nothing else to share.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



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CPSC Looking at Battery Concerns on Other Samsung Smartphones


Posted on: September 15th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — There may be more Samsung smartphones with battery problems than the company has acknowledged so far. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is looking into reports that Samsung phones other than the Galaxy Note7 may have led to fires, ABC News has learned.

Samsung has denied a broader problem with exploding batteries in its popular smartphones, saying that the battery issue — which several reports allege is causing phones to explode and start fires — is isolated to its recently-debuted Note7.

However, an ABC News examination has uncovered at least six incidents around the world where consumers have reported Samsung phones that are not the Note7 have caught fire or otherwise posed a risk to user safety.

Those include a car owner in Port St. Lucie, Florida whose family claimed his Galaxy S7 was charging when his car caught fire; a woman in the U.K. whose Galaxy S7 appeared to melt and start smoking in a restaurant; and a 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn, New York who reportedly suffered burns when an S4 exploded while he was using it to watch videos.

“Recent reports suggesting Samsung’s battery issue goes beyond the Galaxy Note7 are not true,” a spokesperson for Samsung told ABC News in an email. “The battery cell issue announced earlier this month is isolated to one battery manufacturer for one specific phone model.”

Recall Confusion

Reports of other models having battery issues adds more scrutiny to the company, which has been criticized for its handling of problems with the recently-debuted Note7.

The company did not pursue an official recall, initially, electing instead to establish its own “product exchange program” on Sept. 2. Under its plan, a customer could either temporarily exchange the Note7 for a different model until a replacement Note7 was made available the following week. Alternatively, the customer could trade in that Note7 for one of two other models and get a refund for the price difference.

A week later, on Sept. 9, the company acknowledged it was pursuing an official recall that would be sanctioned by the CPSC. At that point, details about the exchange program were updated to say that Note7 replacements were pending CPSC approval and no time frame for the availability of a replacement was given.

In an email to ABC News early on Thursday, a Samsung spokesperson said, “We understand that our consumers are waiting for more information, and we are collaborating with the CPSC to deliver a solution specifically for our Note7 owners as quickly as possible.”

The company has said that it “is continuing to work with the CPSC and our carrier partners to develop and evaluate solutions that are best for U.S. Note7 owners. No action will be taken without the approval of the CPSC. Customer safety remains our top priority.”

In the meantime, the CPSC is urging consumers to not use or charge the Note7, while the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is strongly urging passengers not to power on or charge the phones on board planes.

However, without an official recall, the phone can still be legally sold and the FAA cannot ban the device from flight.

Company Apologies Abroad

Meanwhile, Samsung has printed apologies in every major newspaper in South Korea — including those that print in English — which details remedies for South Korean customers affected by the Note7 issue. The possible options mentioned include cash payments for the inconvenience and replacement devices that could be available on Sept. 19.

However, such apologies have not appeared in the U.S. media and do not appear to be on Samsung’s website.

When asked by ABC News why an apology was not offered to U.S. consumers, a spokesperson said, “we have nothing else to share.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

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