There is no doubt about it -- Samsung has some major PR problems with the Galaxy Note 7. The phone had been recalled because of exploding batteries. Most of those explosions took place overseas, but a couple of new explosions have been reported in the United States. Despite all this, Samsung has only made the recall of the Note 7 a voluntary one.
According to a report from Fox 13, Samsung's device caused a St. Petersburg, Florida, family's Jeep to catch on fire.
"Just days after Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, a St. Petersburg man says he found out the hard way why the recall was issued in the first place. Nathan Dornacher's wife, Lydia said the family went to a yard sale Labor Day morning. While unloading a desk they bought for their daughter, Nathan left his Note 7 charging in the center console of his Jeep Grand Cherokee."The article then adds that when looking out their window, they noticed the Jeep was on fire. The Note 7 had exploded and lit the Jeep with flames.This story is verified. However, there are others that have randomly popped up on Reddit that seem to be by people who only have one post and whose claims cannot be verified.
"I live in Tustin, CA and was charging my Note 7 in my car. I was driving on the 405 and suddenly, I saw my phone was on fire. I was luckily able to pull over to the side and get out. However, I burned my left arm before and had to go to the hospital. But it could have been a lot worse," says Bluegirl99, who adds that only 30 seconds after she got out of the car, it exploded.
Bluegirl99 claimed that she wasn't too close to the car, so the explosion didn't hurt her. Still, she was quite "shocked" as she wrote the post from the hospital. However, a news check on many different websites doesn't reveal one single story about a car that blew up on the 405 on Thursday afternoon. Still, even though there are some (possibly) fake stories coming out, it doesn't mean that people shouldn't take the problem with the Note 7 seriously.There have been many verified reports about Galaxy Note 7 explosions, although that number represents far less than even one percent of the phones that have been released. Still, Samsung has been harshly criticized by Consumer Reports for not handling everything well. In an article, the magazine criticizes Samsung for not making the Note 7 recall an official one.
"If Samsung was initiating the recall process, its first step would be to immediately report any issues to the CPSC. According to the Consumer Product Safety Act, two of the criteria for reporting are if the product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, or creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death," says the consumer watchdog site.
The article adds that the CPSC would then evaluate these reports to determine if corrective action is required. CPSC also works with companies to determine the scope, hazard, and remedy while also making recommendations.
According to 9 to 5 Google, Samsung is expecting to lose $1 billion on the Note 7 recall, an amount that Samsung has declared "heartbreaking." The article notes that even though this is causing short-term financial loss, the real damage could be to Samsung's reputation.
Some people have initially defended Samsung and said they are keeping their Note 7 devices until replacement units come in. After all the new explosion reports (with a lot of them verified), one wonders if these people are taking back their words.
[Photo via Daryl Deino]