Following reports of fires caused by Galaxy Note 7 phones, Samsung has voluntarily recalled the devices in ten markets, including the United States. The problem is said to be with the batteries, which can burst into flames when the phone is being charged or is in use. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has advised owners of the devices to keep them turned off.
The recall is said to be unprecedented for Samsung. With around 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices sold globally, it is expected to cost the company $5 billion to recall the devices and supply customers with replacement phones. “The cost of the recall is going to be astronomical,” said product liability expert and chief executive officer of Real-World Forensic Engineering, Jahan Rasty. “They have to compensate people, fix the problem and give them a revised version of the product that doesn’t have the same manufacturing or design defect.”
Samsung has said that it is expediting shipments of replacement phones to U.S. in order to deal with this recall. The company has stated that customers in the United States can exchange their Galaxy Note 7 phones for one of several replacement models, in addition to receiving a $25 gift card. The company has also issued a statement in South Korea, instructing users to discontinue the use of Galaxy Note 7 phones and to turn them in at a service center.
Many airlines are also taking steps to deal with the dangers posed by the phones in order to prevent fires from starting while planes are in flight. U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stated that travelers should not charge or use the phones while in the air. After the FAA issued its statement, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines have instructed passengers to keep their Note 7 devices turned off during their flights. Several other airlines around the world have instituted similar rules including Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways, and Air France.
Is this a black mark on Samsung’s reputation, or will the company regain the trust of consumers? Leave your comments below.