Samsung Issues Recall Of Galaxy Phones With Exploding Batteries

Samsung recalled all of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones Friday after discovering batteries had exploded or caught fire in some of the devices, according to CBS News.

The company directed retailers to pull Samsung Note 7s from shelves in 10 countries, including the United States.

Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile division, announced that customers who already purchased Note 7s will be allowed to exchange them for new smartphones in approximately two weeks, CBS News reported. He also apologized to customers on behalf of Samsung.

The recall comes at a particularly inconvenient time for the South Korean electronics and appliances company. Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 7 only two weeks ago, and it was intended to be the flagship device for the mobile division of the company.

The Galaxy 7 received strong reviews and was met with greater demand than anticipated. Samsung executives had hoped this momentum would carry the Galaxy 7 through the expected announcement of a new iPhone from Apple next week, according to the CBS News report.

“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.”

Samsung confirmed 35 instances of Note 7s catching fire or exploding, out of 2.5 million Note 7s already sold globally. Samsung estimates 24 out of 1 million units may suffer from the explosive battery. That would mean that roughly.0024 percent of Note 7s have the defective batteries.

No injuries have been reported as a result of this issue.

Samsung has yet to discover exactly which batteries may be susceptible to explosion or fires.

The issue first came to Samsung’s attention through user complaints.

A South Korean high school teacher named Park Soo-Jung pre-ordered a Galaxy Note 7 and activated it on August 19, the official launch date. She reported having to rush out of bed after her phone burst into flames, “filling her bedroom with smoke stinking of chemicals,” according to CBS News.

The incident has given her pause in regard to buying another new device.

“If the exploded phone had burned near my head, I would not have been able to write this post,” she said in a popular online forum Thursday, CBS News reports. She also shared a photo of the scorched Note 7 and described having to extinguish the flames in the post.

Starting next week, Samsung plans to offer Note 7 customers either a new free Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge to replace the faulty product, according to CNN Money. Samsung estimates the full recall process will take up to two weeks to complete, depending on the country.

Samsung has also offered to refund the cost of accessories designed specifically for the Galaxy Note 7 and give Note 7 users a $25 gift card or credit for the inconvenience the recall has caused, CNN Money reports.

U.S. retailers have handled the recall in various ways.

Target, Amazon, and Best Buy have all stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7. Target is working with Samsung to replace devices it already sold, and Best Buy customers can return or exchange Galaxy Note 7s purchased from them.

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint have also suspended sales to their mobile services customers, according to CNN Money. Sprint is allowing customers to borrow comparable devices until the recall process is complete.

Samsung is not alone in the mobile industry in terms of suffering some major glitches. After the iPhone 6 was ridiculed over the “Bendgate” controversy last year, the phone has more recently come under fire for widespread issues with what’s been labeled “touch disease.”

Unlike the Samsung Note 7 exploding battery fiasco, Apple never felt compelled to issue a total recall of the iPhone 6.

[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]