Samsung urged to officially recall Galaxy Note 7 to prevent resale of a dangerous product

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
A leading consumer advocacy group has urged Samsung to perform an official recall of its Galaxy Note 7 following reports that its battery may explode while charging.




Samsung's trial by fire



So far, Samsung has only offered a voluntary replacement program and says it has stopped selling the defective product. However, Consumer Reports noted that several retailers are still selling the phone.

Despite having reportedly issued a recall for faulty Galaxy Note 7 models, Samsung has not actually filed any request to perform an official recall for a dangerous product in the U.S.

Consumer Reports stated that once Samsung were to actually file an official recall with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, it would make it illegal for retailers or owners to sell defective phones at risk for explosion.Once Samsung were to actually file an official recall with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, it would make it illegal for retailers or owners to sell defective phones at risk for explosion

Federal CPSC law outlines criteria for recalls of a product that "contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard" and "creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death." The agency has the authority to initiate a recall on its own, based on its investigation of reports from individuals or safety advocates.

Consumer Reports stated that Samsung did not respond to its requests for more information, and did not provide any information on the specific serial numbers affected by the defect.

Instead, the company has only offered the statement, "for customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current devices with a new one over the coming weeks."

Samsung has listed 35 incidents involving Note 7 battery issues, but did not detail the extent of those issues. A series of photos of charred Note 7 devices have appeared on the web, suggesting that the issue could easily result in serious injury or fires.

Back in 2008, Microsoft was forced to perform a recall on defective Xbox 360 machines after having cut corners during production to save on design and manufacturing costs. The recall ultimately cost the company $1 billion, far more than it saved in shipping a defective product. That occured even after earlier power supply issues resulted in a lethal fire related to the company's original Xbox console.

Danger, danger! High voltage (when we touch)



Samsung's Note 7 battery explosion problem appears to be related to the company's aggressive fast charging efforts for the Note 7's large capacity battery, which is dependent upon high voltage charging to deliver higher increased energy. Samsung's marketing page for the Note 7 states "we know time is of the essence."




While typical USB 2 chargers (like those used for iPhone and iPad) operate at 5 Volts and draw between 5 and 10 Watts (the standard iPhone and larger iPad adapters, respectively), Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 ships with a USB Type C adapter that operates at up to 12 volts and can draw up to 25.2 watts.

Electrical voltage is comparable to the pressure of water in a pipe, while wattage is analogous to the total amount of water delivered by a pipe over a specific period of time. Higher voltage increases the risk of an electrical short or overheating if a product is not safely designed to accommodate a faster flow of current.

Higher voltage power supplies aren't inherently more dangerous, however. Apple's MacBook uses a USB Type C power adapter that delivers 29 watts of power at up to 14.5 volts. The company's MagSafe 2 power adapters for MacBook Air deliver a maximum 20 volts and 45 watts, while its MacBook Pro models use adapters that deliver 60 to 85 watts of power at 20 volts.

The USB "Power Delivery" (USB PD) specification associated with USB 3.1 and Type C cables can support up to 20 volt adapters that supply up to 100 watts of power, although the device being powered needs to be designed to safely accommodate those higher current charging modes.

Just weeks ago, Samsung's Galaxy was drowning



In July, Consumer Reports reported that Samsung's Galaxy S7 also failed to deliver on its advertised IP 68 specifications for water immersion.




At the time, the company offered to replace failed devices and fix its waterproofing, but could not ensure that customers who believed its marketing claims would not lose their photos or other data related to a water resistance failure.

Antennagate & Bendgate got more media attention



Back in 2010, Consumer Reports made headlines for refusing to recommend Apple's iPhone 4 due to reception issues related to interference by hand placement on its antenna design. However, the site continued to rank iPhone 4 as being the "best smartphone available" despite the issue.

In 2014, the site also weighed in on the "Bendgate" media frenzy targeting iPhone 6, performing testing that showed that Apple's new product was not actually as fragile as it was being depicted.

Consumer Reports stated that the larger iPhone 6 Plus was actually more resilient to bending than the standard iPhone 6, and that both of Apple's new larger iPhone 6 models held up significantly better to deforming and breakage than the HTC One, which was widely considered to be a well designed phone with no apparent structural bending issues.

Unlike Samsung's waterproofing claims and the basic expectation that a cellular phone shouldn't catch on fire while charging via its bundled adapter, Apple made no marketing claims that its phones would not experience any signal attenuation or could survive being physically destroyed, given excessive force.

Fun with Google Trends... https://t.co/Zjhd96hAhO pic.twitter.com/2NXnJ3ScGi

— Philip Elmer-DeWitt (@philiped)


Above, Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Apple 3.0 noted that according to Google Trends, the media focused intense attention on Apple's Bendgate while Samsung has issued a series of actual product recalls, none of which has garnered even a blip of comparable chatter online, continuing from three years prior to Peak Bendgate in late 2014 and across the last two years since.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60

    ...
    magman1979lolliverericthehalfbeemacseekersockrolidDeelronstanthemanjahbladejustadcomicsbig
  • Reply 2 of 60
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,980member
    I believed the aggressive charging was probably the cause, but since Samsung has stated that it is the battery, I'll have to take their word for it. 

    If this is in fact limited to a few lots of product that will be replaced, then Samsung should consider themselves lucky. If, on the other hand, the problem persists at all, then Samsung will be in a deeper hole due to trust. 
    ration al
  • Reply 3 of 60
    I look at all people who own a Samsung, or ANY Android device for that matter, and just shake my head and walk away, and hope to GOD they don't ask me for tech support with it, which they almost always do!
    pscooter63rcponeredgeminipajahblade
  • Reply 4 of 60
    tmay said:
    I believed the aggressive charging was probably the cause, but since Samsung has stated that it is the battery, I'll have to take their word for it. 

    If this is in fact limited to a few lots of product that will be replaced, then Samsung should consider themselves lucky. If, on the other hand, the problem persists at all, then Samsung will be in a deeper hole due to trust. 
    Samsung deserves NO trust from ANYONE... They lie, cheat, and steal as their company MO, and don't deserve anything from the consumer.

    While I feel for people who have gone thru the horror of a device exploding on them, possibly even on their person, I am so happy this is happening to Samsung...

    Karma is a BITCH, isn't it?
    lolliverpscooter63anantksundaramronnredgeminipajahbladebadmonktycho24big
  • Reply 5 of 60
    Samsung's Karma ran over its Dogma.
    lolliveriqatedoronnpalominefracmagman1979brucemcbig
  • Reply 6 of 60
    Hope no one gets burned badly. But oif they do would be happy to represent them at a discounted contingent fee. A special fee reserved for the criminally insane for buying a Smokey in the first place,
    lolliverbadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Good to have you back Dan. Always enjoy reading your articles on stories like this that include a bit more history and context than what other sites tend to write.
    radarthekatanantksundaramronnneil andersonpscooter63badmonkjustadcomicsmagman1979lkrupp
  • Reply 8 of 60
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,980member
    LMAO...its funny how people get so triggered by competing companies that don't give a shit about you, they are fighting for your money..(coming from a person that uses both samsung and apple products and currently using a iphone 6s)..samsung  had fast charging for a couple years now, so your logic makes absolutely no sense 
    Yet, the stories told, and there are not many, speak of the Samsung exploding while it was being charged. I wouldn't discount the correlation with "aggressive charging" considering that Samsung will recall all Note 7's that have been shipped, some 1 million. Seems like it is not an issue that can be resolved based on a list of serial numbers for a few lots of bad batteries.
    ronn
  • Reply 10 of 60

    ...

    Did you happen to find this pic in a search? Curious since I'm from Vancouver and that bin has a BC area code.
    lolliverjustadcomicsmagman1979
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Did you happen to find this pic in a search? Curious since I'm from Vancouver and that bin has a BC area code.
    It must suck to see a $500,000 house go up in flames like that…
    ration alneil andersonfrac
  • Reply 12 of 60
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,980member

    ...

    Did you happen to find this pic in a search? Curious since I'm from Vancouver and that bin has a BC area code.
    American television series production, i.e., cop show prop and scene? No way can there be dumpster fires in Canada!!
  • Reply 13 of 60
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,980member
    bubbaone said:
    Geez, AI.  This looks like something that I would read on Breitbart.  Samsung has admitted fault, and is taking the necessary steps.

    So far Crickets on Iphone 6 touchscreen problem from Apple.  
    I actually did the old google search.

    There hasn't been any news stories, with a few exceptions about the class action lawsuit that was initiated, for the last five or six days.

    The story died because there isn't enough actual cases of Touch Disease to continue following the story. It's just dead because it's insignificant.

    Has Mike, editor at AI, ever come back with more anecdotal evidence that he indicated he was collecting? Nope,

    How about asking him what happened to his "exclusive" story.
    edited September 2016 sockrolidRezDeelronwilliamlondonpscooter63justadcomicstycho24brucemc
  • Reply 14 of 60
    You're burning it wrong.
    - Samsung top management
    lollivermonstrosityiqatedoronnjustadcomics
  • Reply 15 of 60
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    tmay said:
    I believed the aggressive charging was probably the cause, but since Samsung has stated that it is the battery, I'll have to take their word for it. 

    If this is in fact limited to a few lots of product that will be replaced, then Samsung should consider themselves lucky. If, on the other hand, the problem persists at all, then Samsung will be in a deeper hole due to trust. 
    Samsung deserves NO trust from ANYONE... They lie, cheat, and steal as their company MO, and don't deserve anything from the consumer.

    While I feel for people who have gone thru the horror of a device exploding on them, possibly even on their person, I am so happy this is happening to Samsung...

    Karma is a BITCH, isn't it?
    Don't forget they also run the OS Google ripped off from Apple.
    lolliverRezmacseekerronnwilliamlondonjahbladejustadcomicsmagman1979
  • Reply 16 of 60
    sockrolid said:
    You're burning it wrong.
    - Samsung top management
  • Reply 17 of 60
    My 70 year old mothers home burned to the ground in the middle of the night due to a Samsung TV. Our animals died! And my mother is living with family! I hate Samsung! And they never replied to any of my emails! But they did answer to our insurance company! In my eyes they are murders! 
    boopthesnootpalominemagman1979
  • Reply 18 of 60
    RezRez Posts: 19member
    If that's Iphone that is exploding it will a headline in CNN.
    the battery must be made in china
    ronn
  • Reply 19 of 60
    And the Sam sheep will continue to buy them and argue that they are great. What a world
    tallest skilronnstarwarsmagman1979
  • Reply 20 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,360member
    tmay said:
    I believed the aggressive charging was probably the cause, but since Samsung has stated that it is the battery, I'll have to take their word for it. 

    If this is in fact limited to a few lots of product that will be replaced, then Samsung should consider themselves lucky. If, on the other hand, the problem persists at all, then Samsung will be in a deeper hole due to trust. 
    The faster you allow a device a charge the more heat it will generate, which means you need to be sure that your batteries are designed and tested to work within those parameters. That's not to say that was the cause, but it does narrow the window of safe battery chemistry if you increase that charging rate dramatically.

    That said, this may not be wholly Samsung's fault, as all vendors will occasionally get bad batches of components from time to time—the odds are just too high—but it's still Samsung's responsibility and makes them look bad. Unfortunately for the consumer, Samsung's position in the market behind Apple does mean they can get away with more shortcuts and push boundaries without as much accountability, but this is, ironically, because of the consumer.

    Samsung has been including fast charging for years in their devices (as noted by AnandTech reviews) and I've always felt they were playing with fire, so to speak.
    edited September 2016 Deelronlolliverronnpalominepscooter63
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