Reports: Fixed Note 7 combusts, sparking aircraft evacuation

Samsung's official recall-and-replacement program for its troubled Galaxy Note 7 phone is finally in full swing. Despite promises that the company has fixed the combustible battery issue at the root of the fiasco, however, it appears the Note 7 isn't out of the woods yet. According to reports from USA Today and The Verge, a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville, Kentucky noticed that his replaced Note 7 was smoking, causing the flight to be evacuated on the tarmac.

Samsung threw water on the claim that the phone involved was a replacement model in a statement to USA Today, but photos of the phone's box obtained by The Verge from the owner of the device show that it is, in fact, a new unit with all the marks indicating its replacement status. The owner of the device told The Verge that the phone was turned off and in his pocket when he noticed the smoke that sparked the evacuation of the aircraft.

We figure now is as good a time as any to warn Note 7 owners who still have devices from the original production run to get their phones replaced. Samsung has information on how to determine whether a Note 7 is affected by the recall on its dedicated web page for the issue. Owners of affected Note 7s should also be receiving warning prompts on their phones every time they charge or reboot the device. The skittish can get a full refund or a Galaxy S7 phone in exchange for their affected phones.

Comments closed
    • spugm1r3
    • 3 years ago

    Unfortunate… I’ve been a Note user for the last 5 years or so. I’ve always been happy with them, but unlike my fruit loving counterparts, I can’t accept portable fire-starter as a feature.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 3 years ago

    Hopefully, this compels Samsung to make lower cost models and cease the tireless pursuit of the high cost phone. I’m kinda hoping this wrecks their reputation as a high end manufacturer and makes mea culpa the philosophy of the day.

    • gmskking
    • 3 years ago

    Well the Note 7 is dead now.

    • trackerben
    • 3 years ago

    “The Galaxy is the best source for subatomic energy in the universe.”

    • Unknown-Error
    • 3 years ago

    WTF is going on?

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    Ooh ooh! Let’s report about [url=http://www.fudzilla.com/news/mobile/41755-exploding-iphone-puts-fanboy-in-er<]this[/url<] and [url=http://www.fudzilla.com/news/mobile/41730-iphone-7-catches-fire-too<]this[/url<] reports of iPhone7s catching fire also!!!! Seriously though, let's not get involved in this Apple vs Samsung slander war.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      Let’s not forget [url=http://motherboard.vice.com/read/apple-employees-company-is-hiding-iphone-6-plus-touch-disease-truth-from-customers<]touch disease[/url<] or just how [url=https://twitter.com/codinghorror/status/783763404406214656<]slow the Note 7 is[/url<] assuming you get one that doesn't burn up. The state of phones today is just awful. Seriously, guys. Let's throw in the towel. We've raced to the bottom on everything but price, somehow.

        • just brew it!
        • 3 years ago

        I’m reasonably pleased with my LG G4, and it cost me a fraction of what these “flagship” phones cost. It even has a user-replaceable battery and an SD card slot. And a 3.5mm headphone jack. πŸ˜‰

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          My sister is also happy with her G4 and the original GFlex she had before that. The V20 honestly looks really cool, and it’s got the replaceable battery, SD slot, headphones, etc, etc. How is LG with the software support? My sister isn’t a techie so she has no idea what I’d be looking for. Also, are you using unlocked or a carrier-branded one?

            • just brew it!
            • 3 years ago

            It came with Lollipop pre-loaded, but immediately offered to upgrade itself to Marshmallow when I acquired it this past spring.

            Mine is carrier-branded (Sprint).

            I also added a third-party wireless charging antenna I bought on Amazon.

        • blastdoor
        • 3 years ago

        Touch disease is an interesting case. Apple does replace units under warranty (unless I’m mistaken) — is a company obligated to replace a product out of warranty?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          Legally? No. But they’ve supported flaws like that after warranty before, like MacBook displays. Same with MacBook Pros that had flawed Nvidia chips. Morally they should. Companies in general should not just Apple.

      • soccergenius
      • 3 years ago

      The iPhone 7 from the second link was damaged (crushed) in shipment. That’s apparent from the images the redditor provided [url<]http://m.imgur.com/a/LrhYz[/url<]. A battery failure doesn't inwardly dent the phone. The iPhone 6 Plus from the first link, was in the owner's back pocket while he was in class, which suggests he was sitting on it. It's not unheard of for smartphones in back pockets to fail like that after habitually sitting on them. This new Note 7 incident could be completely unrelated to the previous issue and otherwise incidental, but the timing and optics are bad. I wouldn't be surprised if commercial airlines move to permanently ban the device out of abundance of caution; I don't see why they would give Samsung the benefit of the doubt at this point at the risk of an incident in flight.

    • just brew it!
    • 3 years ago

    I predicted this.

    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/30648/samsung-gelds-note-7-battery-capacity-to-limit-fire-risk?post=1000580[/url<]

      • blastdoor
      • 3 years ago

      If that’s what has happened, Samsung’s premium pricing power is doomed for the next few years.

      That is — if this isn’t just a very unlucky freak occurrence — if we see that Samsung has systematically messed up the replacement program, resulting in more fires than we would normally expect from any good smartphone vendor, then it will take years for their brand to recover. Bye bye profit margins.

      • flip-mode
      • 3 years ago

      “That’s cuz you’re smart.”

    • xeridea
    • 3 years ago

    This would easily be resolved with a user replaceable battery…

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Not only has that ship already sailed, it’s well on its way to Pluto. People voted with their wallets.

        • Shobai
        • 3 years ago

        This idea that people “vote with their wallets”, while definitely true, has to be held in tension with the reality that a] people don’t always know what they’re voting for/against, and b] there is rarely a dichotomy of choice in the issues voted on.

        For instance, suppose I’m in the market for an iOS device: which device should I buy so that I can vote for “removable battery” with my wallet?

          • flip-mode
          • 3 years ago

          Also, people can only vote on the options they are presented with. And the option of a replaceable battery may come in a package that offers the other options that people desire even more.

          For example, if you want a phone with stock Android, ASAP updates, and a replaceable battery, prioritized in that order, you probably bought yourself a Nexus and cursed at the lack of a replaceable battery. It’s not that you didn’t want the replaceable battery and would have paid for it if given the opportunity; rather, the options that you really wanted just weren’t available in a single package.

          • morphine
          • 3 years ago

          You make valid points, and I’m not entirely disagreeing with you, but–and this is an honest, not a sarcastic question–have you seen how Regular Joe/Jane buy a phone? The removable battery doesn’t even register. It’s all about style/thin/light and fancy, or apparently-fancy features. “oooh shiny” gets all the cookie points.

          Yes, a removable battery would be [i<]better[/i<]. But "everyone" has indirectly said that their priorities lie elsewhere, and the market followed. In the iOS world, you get an iPhone, an iPhone or an iPhone, them's the breaks. Same situation as above. For what it's worth, amusingly, until at least the iPhone 5S, the battery's pretty much user-replaceable with minimal fiddling. No idea about the 6 and 7.

            • Shobai
            • 3 years ago

            This is specifically what I meant with my point a]: users do not know what they are voting for and voting against, because it’s never presented to them in that way. No manufacturer says “buy this shiny thing; just be aware that by buying this, we’ll take that to mean that you never want [feature x] again”.

            Put this together with my point b], and you get to what flip-mode highlights: the manufacturers release devices that they want to sell, and that they want to keep selling. Non removable batteries offer no advantage to the consumer, only disadvantages, but those consumer disadvantages benefit the manufacturer because they result in repeat customers.

            ‘The market’ moved to non removable batteries because it suited the manufacturers to do so, full stop.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 3 years ago

            See also removable memory cards, and now headphone jacks.

          • kvndoom
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, my wallet votes for the iphone 7 with headphone jack. Oh wait…

          One day, when Apple removes the screen in order to make the phone even thinner, tens of millions will still buy it upon release because “it’s the new iphone.”

          Note that this isn’t an insult to Apple customers, but more a testament of blind brand loyalty even in the face of paying more and getting less.

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        You mean dumb sheeple who had no idea what they were buying voted with their wallets and those of us that can understand a spec list have to put up with the consequences?

        Yes, I agree!

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 3 years ago

          The problem with “dumb sheeple” is that everyone is “dumb sheeple” outside of their area of expertise, and that trend is set to intensify.

        • rechicero
        • 3 years ago

        Of course they voted: they could choose “without replaceable battery” or “with non replaceable battery”

      • blastdoor
      • 3 years ago

      I might be misunderstanding your point, but I would think that user replaceable batteries could catch fire, too. In fact, user replaceable batteries could conceivably be sourced from sketchier manufacturers (no-name seller on Amazon), possibly increasing the chances of problems.

      Or are you suggesting that once the first has started, the user could replace the burning battery?

        • Shobai
        • 3 years ago

        I’d think he’s simply saying that, if the battery were user replaceable, Samsung could have more easily shipped a replacement battery to all owners rather than having to return devices – surely that would have been at a lesser cost than the current solution!

          • xeridea
          • 3 years ago

          This exactly. They could send everyone new batteries rather than forcing them to take time to drive to somewhere that can service/replace it, and then be inconvenienced setting everything up again. Many won’t ever replace just out of inconvenience.

          If Samsung sends new battery, they have no need to buy a sketchy one one. If a user replaces battery themselves later on when it gets weak with sketchy ones, that is their fault, and not bad press for Samsung.

            • blastdoor
            • 3 years ago

            Ah… gotcha. Thanks.

      • DPete27
      • 3 years ago

      As a person that’s generally owned my smartphones at least 3 years each and have never needed to replace a battery, I can’t see why people keep complaining about this.

        • brucethemoose
        • 3 years ago

        Heavy usage over 3 years will drain your battery’s capacity pretty quick.

        Until recently, it was a bigger problem on Android I believe, as there was generally more stuff running in the background as well as more overhead than iOS.

        Still, you have a point… the niche that uses their phone that frequently AND is careful enough to keep it for 3+ years is pretty small.

          • xeridea
          • 3 years ago

          In 15 years I have never broken a phone. It isn’t a matter of being careful, just not treating it like a dogtoy is sufficient.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          yep, my Nexus 5 battery was the reason for retirement. Would have used it another two years if the runtime hadn’t dropped from 36h to 6h over the course of two years.

          Li-Ion has a fixed number of charge/discharge cycles before it’s chemically changed to something that’s no longer a battery. 300-800 cycles depending on the exact chemistry and usage, heat being a major factor that deteriorates the lifespan. If you’re charging your phone every night and getting through most of your battery in a day, then 18-months of decent battery life is about all you can expect from a modern phone πŸ™

          • DPete27
          • 3 years ago

          I’ve been playing Clash of Clans every day for the past 3 years on my current 1st Gen Moto X. Draining the battery every day, sometimes even twice a day. I haven’t noticed much difference in runtime.

        • xeridea
        • 3 years ago

        My batteries get weak after ~2 years, and I barely use my phone.

        I don’t see how a non replaceable battery has any advantages anyway. Really it just makes it harder to change SIM, or provide a MicroSD slot.

          • just brew it!
          • 3 years ago

          It saves a bit of space and weight, and gives the manufacturer more flexibility in how to lay out the phone’s innards. It potentially allows the manufacturer to incorporate a higher capacity battery without making the phone heavier/bulkier, or make the phone thinner/lighter for a given capacity battery.

          I prefer replaceable batteries myself, but it isn’t like there’s absolutely no downside.

          • brucethemoose
          • 3 years ago

          We’re the minority though. Most people I know damage their phones pretty regularly.

            • rechicero
            • 3 years ago

            When I read about the bendgate the first thing I thought was: Who sits regularly and consciously on a $700 fragile electronic device?

            • DPete27
            • 3 years ago

            hipsters….double points for pun.

        • blastdoor
        • 3 years ago

        DIYers are always annoyed when products go mass market and become increasingly integrated. The same thing happened with cars and TVs. I remember my uncle (who used to have a home TV repair business) complaining when TV manufacturers started putting everything on integrated circuit boards which, if they blew, could not be repaired but had to be replaced.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 3 years ago

          Happily, even modern TV’s appear to be vastly more durable than modern phones.

    • mcnabney
    • 3 years ago

    Weren’t all the fires from the original occurring while charging? The owner said it was off, but didn’t say if he was charging it at the time. It is extremely unlikely for a totally off and unplugged device to catch fire.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      There’s a lot of stored energy in a lithium battery. If the battery shorts out internally, Very Bad Things (TM) will happen, whether it is charging or not. The energy released over the short term by an internal battery short is likely at least an order of magnitude more than the charger is capable of putting out over that same period of time.

      It may very well be that the batteries are more likely to short out while they are being charged, but a short is a short.

    • brucethemoose
    • 3 years ago

    As terrible as this is, I hope this gives other Android OEMs the break they need. Seems like Samsung has been strangling them to death.

    • 223 Fan
    • 3 years ago

    Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      Oh man, if this doesn’t make a top comment I’m gonna cry.

        • Redocbew
        • 3 years ago

        We gerbils do not disappoint.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 3 years ago

      This is such an appropriate response.

      Any direct link to the 76000 Battery Llamas from ‘Llama-Fresh’ Farms LTD. Near Paraguay?

        • 223 Fan
        • 3 years ago

        Not really. Though my sister was bitten by a moose once.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      This was really great.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      The directors of the company hired to continue making batteries after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked.

      [url=http://i.imgur.com/RxUCu9m.png<]The battery replacements have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute[/url<].

        • superjawes
        • 3 years ago

        It got better!

        • Wirko
        • 3 years ago

        Now these two would make great questions in English language tests. Put the verbs in parentheses in correct tenses:

        Those responsible for (sack) the people who just (sack) (sack).

        The directors of the company (hire) to continue making batteries after the other people (sack), (wish) it to be known that they just (sack).

      • chΒ΅ck
      • 3 years ago

      I’m not getting this. Is this a meme?

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        Monty Python; The meme of memes.

        [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djKPvXDwXcs<]Because normal opening credits are too dull.[/url<]

        • Captain Ned
        • 3 years ago

        If you’re going to hang out in the tech world, knowledge of Python (the Monty version, that is) is not optional.

      • TwoEars
      • 3 years ago

      Ahh… it IS Monty Python. Good one πŸ™‚

    • Firestarter
    • 3 years ago

    if 1 burning battery is enough to evacuate a plane, what happens when a group of very .. determined guys collect all the li-ion batteries of everyone on board and make a nice bonfire at 30k feet?

      • jihadjoe
      • 3 years ago

      That puts the I in IED, with a capital IMPROVISED!

      • ludi
      • 3 years ago

      They get the same treatment as the last few loons who tried to take down airplanes by various means: a mob veto from the other passengers.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      I’ve seen a theory that MH370 was carrying a commercial shipment of li-ion batteries that caught fire and downed the plane.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 3 years ago

    This one wasn’t caused by a faulty battery, it’s just the extra heat from the phone’s flash rewriting files that get too old.

    • ludi
    • 3 years ago

    “Good news, everyone! I’ve modified our Note7 to remove that pesky explosion feature. It now provides a slow, soothing burn.”

    • Redocbew
    • 3 years ago

    From The Verge:

    [quote<]He has already replaced it with an iPhone 7.[/quote<] How very courageous of him.

    • morphine
    • 3 years ago

    I guess that the “halt and catch fire” line in the Linux kernel was finally triggered.

      • bthylafh
      • 3 years ago

      lp0: battery on fire

      • jihadjoe
      • 3 years ago

      $DD and F00F are now weak sauce and Samsung has the undisputed lead in HCF implementations. Your move, Intel.

      • Concupiscence
      • 3 years ago

      It’s a shame Be Inc. could never find a viable business model. It’d be great to see a mobile device running BeOS that could answer the API call isProcessorOnFire() with a yes.

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