The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has officially recalled 1 million units of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 due to serious fire and burn hazards. CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye is urging all Samsung users to take advantage of the recall immediately. About 97% of Galaxy Note 7 phoned sold in the US should qualify for refund or replacement. To be sure, consumers can look at a special code etched on the bottom of the back of the phone, and plug it into Samsung’s website to determine whether their particular phone is subject to the recall. “With battery cell defects in some of our Note 7 phones, we did not meet the standard of excellence that you expect and deserve. For that, we apologize, especially to those of you who were personally affected by this,” Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. “To those of you who love the Note- the most loyal customers in our Samsung family- we appreciate your passion and your patience…we will work every day to earn back your trust through a series of unprecedented actions.” Smartphones purchased from a certain supplier between Aug. 2016 and Sept. 2016 can potentially overheat and catch fire. So far, 92 reports have been filed of overheating batteries, along with 26 burn reports, and 55 reports of property damage, including car and garage fires. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have issued strong warnings against airline passengers not to bring Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on planes unless they keep them turned off and don’t charge them during flight. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and Note 7-specific accessory owners are eligible for a refund, and can also get a $25 gift card or bill credit. Despite the current offers, critics of the recall are accusing the company of lacking a clear message. The CPSC requires companies to notify it of any defects before coordinating public notification of recalls, which Samsung did not do. Instead, they released news of the replacement program without coordinating with the commission first. “I can’t think of a worse situation,” Sree Sreenivasan, New York City’s chief digital officer stated. “And I think what the company has to do is be upfront about it and be very clear about how it will fix the problem, what happened and how it will work. Because they were hoping this was the best phone that’s ever been released, and in fact, it’s going to go down as one of the worst…It’s going to be very scary for Samsung.”
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