It’s been a rough 24 hours for the South Korean electronics manufacturer. On Monday, a spokesperson assured the Business Insider that the Galaxy Note 7 was safe to use and charge, despite having issued an “unofficial recall” in early September and an official one from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in mid-September.
Within a day of a Samsung spokesperson saying, "yes, the replacement Note7 devices are safe to use," a video from Dee Decasa surfaced, showing her phone smoking in her hand. She explained that it was taken on Sunday and that the phone in her hand had been a replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Decasa isn’t the only one whose replacement phone was just as explosive as the originals. Last Tuesday, Michael Klering and his wife woke up to find their bedroom full of smoke coming from his replacement Galaxy Note 7.
“It wasn’t plugged in. It wasn’t anything, it was just sitting there,” Klering told WKYT. He claimed to have vomited “black stuff,” and a report from the Nicholasville Fire Department showed that he had suffered from smoke inhalation. The hospital diagnosed him with acute bronchitis.
From there, his situation with Samsung took a turn for the strange. He claimed to have been in contact with Samsung over the incident and felt that they were helping him, until he received a text message from someone he claimed was a Samsung representative.
The message read, “just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it.”
Klering is now pursuing legal action.
Last week, Brian Green’s replacement Galaxy Note 7 allegedly exploded while he was boarding a Southwest airlines flight. He claimed to have powered the phone off and placed it in his pocket when it began spewing a “thick grey-green angry smoke,” and caused the entire plane to deboard, the Verge reported.
Samsung has finally announced that it will halt the production of the unintentional smoke bomb and stopped all sales. In addition, the company also encouraged Note 7 owners to turn their phones off and stop using them.
This is a large development for the company, particularly after US safety officials weighed issuing a second recall on the product. On Friday, a statement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) told consumers to power off and cease using their Note 7s – even if they were replacements.
But after numerous complaints that these phones catch fire, many are wondering what took the CPSC so long to get involved. A large part of it has to do with the Consumer Product Safety Act that was added in the 1980s.
Section 6B of the Consumer Safety Act gives companies the power to control what the CPSC tells the public about faulty products.
“Our agency is not permitted to discuss a product if we don’t give the company 10 days notice on what we want to say,” Scott Wolfson, Communications Director at the CPSC, told Gizmodo.
In addition, Samsung’s unofficial recall in September iced the CPSC out from warning the public. Instead, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye told Squawk Alley that Samsung should have come to the CPSC when the complaints first began coming out. By not doing so, they impeded the CPSC from gathering the necessary information and issuing a proper recall.
Unfortunately for Samsung, this is not even their only product that catches fire. Multiple reports have surfaced that Samsung’s top loading washing machines are just as explosive and even more destructive with reports including complaints of eruptions blowing holes in walls.