Samsung Galaxy Note 7s To Be Remotely Disabled By Software Update, Official Warns

All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones that have not been returned since the recall will be remotely disabled via a software update starting on December 19, according to a press release issued by Samsung on Friday.

In early September, Samsung initiated a massive recall for all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in every country where the handsets had been sold. The recall was the result of numerous reports that the Android-based phones had been smoking, catching fire, or even exploding due to a faulty battery design.

It’s estimated that approximately 93 percent of Galaxy Note 7s purchased in the United States have been returned, according to a report by Digital Trends‘ Trevor Mogg.

For those few remaining stubborn holdouts who “decided to ignore the Galaxy Note 7 recall because your love for the handset is greater than your fear of it exploding,” Mogg quips, Samsung has decided to take the drastic measure to remotely ensure that all remaining Note 7s are functionally disabled.

“To further increase participation [in the recall], a software update will be released starting on December 19 that will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note 7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices,” the Samsung press release reads.

“If you have not yet returned your device, you should immediately power it down and contact your carrier to obtain a refund or exchange.”

Several injuries and fires were reported as a result of the faulty batteries.

“With more than 90 reports in the U.S. of the handset overheating, extending to ’26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage,’ the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a formal recall notice to the more than one million U.S-based owners of the device,” Mogg writes.

“Samsung started circulating new Note 7 units with fresh batteries, but some of those also turned out to have serious issues. With the whole launch turning into a shambles, the company finally ended sales of the phone in October.”

For those whose phones are about to be disabled, you have two choices as to how to proceed, according to the Samsung press release.

Under the terms of the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program, you have the following choices:

  1. Exchange your current Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone and replacement of any Galaxy Note7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices

  2. Obtain a refund at your point of purchase

Those who return their phones before they are disabled, as well as those who have already returned their Galaxy Note 7, may also be eligible for additional incentives.

What if I want to exchange my Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone?

As a sign of our appreciation for your patience and loyalty, we are offering up to a $100 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets if you exchange your Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone, less any incentive credits already received.

What if I already exchanged my Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone?

If you already exchanged your Galaxy Note7 device for another Samsung smartphone, you will receive up to a $75 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets in addition to the $25 you previously received.

What if I want a refund for my Galaxy Note7?

If you choose to obtain a refund, you will receive up to a $25 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets as a token of our appreciation and acknowledgement of your inconvenience, less any incentive credits already received.

What if I want to exchange my Galaxy Note7 for another brand of smartphone?

If you choose to exchange your Galaxy Note7 for another brand of smartphone, you will receive up to a $25 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets as a token of our appreciation and acknowledgement of your inconvenience, less any incentive credits already received.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge models are still available for purchase or exchange and are not affected by the recall and will not be disabled.

More information about how to return your Galaxy Note 7 before it is disabled is available in the official Samsung press release.

[Featured Image by George Frey/Getty Images]