On Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones from all U.S. commercial flights, USA Today reports.
The decision to ban the phones came after “nearly 100 incidents of the devices overheating and sometimes injuring owners,” the transportation department stated Friday, according to USA Today.
The Galaxy Note 7 has had a short, but troubled history.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Samsung issued a recall of the phones in early September after initial reports of the phones smoking, catching fire, or even exploding began to circulate. The recall entailed pulling millions of the phones from retailers’ shelves in the United States and nine other countries.
Samsung traced the problem to the phones’ batteries, but couldn’t identify the exact cause of why the batteries where overheating.
CBS News reported at the time that Samsung’s president of their mobile division, Koh Dong-jin, apologized on behalf of Samsung and promised customers who already purchased Galaxy Note 7s that they could exchange them for new smartphones in approximately two weeks.
The impression was that Samsung intended to address the issue with the batteries and then resume selling the Galaxy Note 7. After all, the new phone was expected to become the flagship model of Samsung’s mobile division. Initial reviews suggested that the Note 7 might even catapult Samsung ahead of Apple for the first time in the smartphone market.
“This is the worst possible timing for Samsung,” CNET‘s Dan Ackerman told CBS News. “They finally have a hit on their hands and it looked like they were finally going to outmatch Apple. This was finally Samsung’s year, and look what happened.”
Those hopes came crashing down Tuesday when Samsung announced that it was abandoning production of the Galaxy Note 7, CBS News announced in a subsequent report.
That decision came after replacement models of the Galaxy Note 7 continued to catch fire.
Samsung Electronics expands its recall of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US to include all replacement devices. https://t.co/bPfvgbYXc4
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 13, 2016
“The world’s largest smartphone company is struggling to regain consumer trust after a first round of recalls,” CBS noted.
Samsung estimates that recalling and abandoning the Galaxy Note 7 will cost the company approximately $5.3 billion, according to USA Today.
With the flight ban in place, no one can carry a Galaxy Note 7 onto a plane with them or stow it in luggage, Reuters reports.
“The flight ban means the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now considered a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations, which block airline passengers or crew from traveling with lithium cells or batteries or portable electronic devices that are likely to generate a dangerous amount of heat,” USA Today explained.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx acknowledged the concerns the ban will surely raise.
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” Foxx said, according to Reuters.
“We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.”
The Transportation Department further warned that attempting to sneak Galaxy Note 7 phones onto planes poses “a catastrophic incident” and advised that anyone attempting to bring one of the phones onto a plane would be “denied boarding” and could face fines.
— Global Issues Web (@globalissuesweb) October 15, 2016
According to USA Today, Samsung received 96 reports of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone batteries overheating or catching fire in the U.S. alone. Twenty-three of those reports came after the September 15 recall. There have also been reports of at least 13 people suffering burns as a result of the battery malfunctions, along with 47 reports of property being damaged by fires the phones started.
Both Samsung and the Transportation Department are attempting to inform as many travelers as possible of the new ban on Galaxy Note 7 phones on all U.S. flights.
[Featured Image via Getty Images/George Frey]