Users of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones should turn them off and not use them, Samsung Electronics Co. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday, citing reports of fires involving lithium-ion batteries in some of the devices.
The warning followed a voluntary global recall of the Note 7 that Samsung announced a week ago.
Samsung said Friday that users should exchange their Note 7s, which are the latest addition to the company’s phone lineup, through a swap program for another device. The South Korean company also said it has “identified the affected inventory and stopped sales and shipments of those devices.”
Samsung has been working with the commission following the voluntary recall on a “corrective action plan” to expedite a CPSC-approved recall of the product, Samsung Electronics America President Tim Baxter said in a statement on Friday.
The CPSC confirmed it is “working cooperatively” with Samsung to formally announce an official recall as soon as possible. The agency said it “is working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung or their phone carriers to provide to consumers.”
The Samsung recall marks a rare instance of a company pulling its products without acting in conjuction with the U.S. safety watchdog.“It is illegal for a company to know that it has a dangerous product and not inform the CPSC,” said Pamela Gilbert, a partner with Washington’s Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP and a former executive director of the CPSC. “This is an unusual situation.”
Typically, the commission announces recalls in cooperation with manufacturers, after consultation. But no agreement on a recall notice has been reached yet with Samsung.The move follows a warning late Thursday from the Federal Aviation Administration saying the phones shouldn’t be used on planes “in light of recent incidents and concerns.”
Samsung isn’t the first smartphone maker to run into power-related safety issues. Apple earlier this year recalled 12 years worth of AC adapters sold in Europe and other regions, citing a dozen cases in which they had delivered electric shocks.