Reports of exploding phones in 2016 flooded social media as customers posted photos of their Samsung phones that overheated and melted.
Weeks after the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was released in late 2016, Samsung issued its first recall of 2.5 million devices after a handful of overheating issues. The brand-new, technologically advanced Samsung phones packed a variety of features that experts now say are the reasons why the phones overheated so easily, posing danger to dozens of people.
The original recall that made headlines was only the beginning of Samsung’s problems. Since then, the company has been named in similar recalls or warnings by consumer watchdog groups or customers on social media, eroding trust in the company’s ability to build advanced phones that are safe for customers.
The original Samsung recall included a line of new Samsung phones: the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Note S7, and the S7 Edge. After a three-month-long investigation following the explosions and fires, the company determined that the incidents were caused by the combination of two types of batteries from different suppliers. The batteries would suddenly explode when used for long periods of time or when charging, leading to both property damage and injuries to users.
There were nearly 100 incidents of Galaxy Note 7 and similar phones overheating and igniting, where at least 26 users were burned, and 55 users reported property damage. Of the injuries sustained, some reported second-and third-degree burns, and even death.
When the fires and recall first occurred, the U.S. Department of Transportation forced airlines to notify passengers of bans on bringing the Galaxy Note 7 aboard planes for fear of malfunctions during flight. In fact, the phones were named on the list of prohibited devices for their history of violent malfunctions.
The Galaxy Note 7 Not the Only Faulty Phone
The death of a 14-year-old girl was reported in September 2019 from a different line of Samsung phones. The girl was sleeping when her phone, a Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone, was charging and playing music. Officials say the phone’s battery overheated and subsequently exploded near her pillow, causing fatal head injuries.
In California, a man claimed that his Samsung Galaxy A20e randomly exploded, saying the phone sparks looked “like fireworks.” The man explained that he felt the phone start to warm up, then he took the battery out to of the phone to investigate, and that’s when the phone lit on fire. The man also reported that the phone filled his home with a black smoke with a toxic smell. The man thankfully didn’t suffer any injuries.
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Samsung’s Cleanup of Faulty Phones
After worldwide backlash from the Galaxy Note 7 scandal, the company decided to implement strict safety measures and assembly guidelines that include an eight-point inspection process. Additionally, a more robust training will be required for those who install the batteries. This will also include policies that make intellectual property information and battery safety standards freely available to employees working on similar phones and devices.
Along with strict guidelines, the company implemented a recall and replacement program for everyone who purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. This recall is still in effect and anyone who still has one of the above-mentioned phones or devices is still eligible for refunds and replacements.
We Can Help
Manufacturers of cell phones, batteries, and similar electronic devices have a responsibility to make sure their products are safe. The companies’ top priority should be to make sure their products are safe for consumers. When companies don’t properly manufacture devices, or when they don’t test the devices for quality assurance, customers may face the consequences, and these consequences can be fatal.
If you were injured by an overheated Samsung phone, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. A product liability lawyer in your state can analyze the evidence you bring, initiate a thorough investigation, talk to witnesses, and build you a case. Whether you aim for an out-of-court settlement or a lawsuit, your lawyer will be there for you every step of the way until you receive the compensatory damages you need to recover. Contact our product liability attorneys for a free case evaluation. We don’t get paid unless we win a settlement for your case.