There is little question that this has been a rough weekend for Samsung executives, who have been dealing with the latest events in a public relations nightmare that just won’t stop unfolding. It all started shortly after Samsung released its new flagship Galaxy Note 7 phablet, when reports that the phone was spontaneously exploding began sweeping the web. Samsung would ultimately determine that some units were equipped with faulty batteries, and the company had no choice but to issue a global recall of the 2.5 million handsets that had been shipped to distributors worldwide.
But that was only the beginning.
Samsung was quick to state that the problematic batteries that were causing Galaxy Note 7 handsets to go up in flames all came from one factory. So the company shifted all production to another supplier and began shipping replacement devices to retailers so that they could swap out affected Note 7 models for new “safe” phones. Of course, you’ll immediately notice that placing the word “safe” in quotes does not bode well.
Replacement Note 7s then began exploding. The first reported incident happened aboard an airplane on the tarmac, and then a replacement Note 7 reported ignited and burned a 13-year-old girl’s hand. But the most damning report thus far involved a Kentucky man who was in contact with Samsung after his replacement Note 7 exploded. Despite the obvious and serious risk these new Note 7 phones appear to present, Samsung said nothing and even considered trying to “slow him down” so that he wouldn’t go to the media with news of his exploding phone.
Several additional reports have since surfaced, and now it appears as though Samsung is finally beginning to take action. The company has reportedly halted production of the Galaxy Note 7 while it investigates these new incidents, and all US carriers have stopped selling the phone. What’s more, wireless carriers are allowing returns or exchanges regardless of when a Note 7 was purchased or swapped.
The company has stayed quiet over the past week as reports piled up, but on Sunday Samsung finally issued a brief statement.
“We are working diligently with authorities and third party experts and will share findings when we have completed the investigation,” a Samsung spokesperson told The Verge. “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 to resolve the situation.”
No, this response doesn’t do much to appease users who now wonder whether or not their Note 7 devices are ticking time bombs, but at least the silence has been broken. Regardless of what happens at this point though, BGR still recommends that all Galaxy Note 7 owners return or exchange their phones immediately in order to ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them.