Matthew HughesFormer TNW Reporter
Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.
After several Galaxy Note 7 phones caught fire, Samsung issued a general recall. It asked customers to hand in their defective phones for new, safe ones. Now, evidence is mounting that these replacement devices are similarly unsafe.
Last Tuesday, Nicholasville, Kentucky resident Michael Klering awoke in the early hours of the morning to discover his bedroom engulfed with smoke. His replacement Note 7 had exploded while he was asleep.
Later that day, Klering went to the Emergency Room, where doctors diagnosed him with acute bronchitis. “I was vomiting black so it was very scary. It was a lot of black stuff and it didn’t look right,” he said.
Speaking to WKYT, he said that he had owned the replacement phone for little more than a week, and that the phone wasn’t on charge at the time of the explosion.
The idea of a replacement handset (which emphatically should be safe) catching fire is incredibly troubling. But what’s more concerning is the fact that Samsung knew about this incident for almost an entire week, and hasn’t felt the need to inform its customers.
But here’s where it gets even murkier.
According to Klering, Samsung asked if it could take possession of the phone. He refused, though he did permit Samsung to x-ray it.
Later, Klering purportedly received a text message that was intended for a Samsung representative.
“Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it”
Now, Klering is seeking legal help. He wants to make more people aware of the risks of the Note 7. “They’re in kid’s pockets, people’s cars, all kinds of things. We saw with the first ones. Samsung needs to do something to get these off the market,” he said.
Samsung has known that there’s an issue with the Note 7 replacements since Tuesday morning. In the time since then, two handsets have caught fire: one in the hands of a thirteen year old girl, and another in the cabin of a Southwest Airlines plane.
It’s increasingly apparent that these aren’t isolated incidents. Despite that, there has been no recall. No warning to customers to stop using the handsets. No pop-ups flashing on customers screens, warning them of the risk.
Samsung clearly doesn’t give a shit.
I’m going to echo the wise words of The Verge here: If you have a Galaxy Note 7, please stop using it. Yes, it’s a really nice phone, but it’s just not worth the risk. Most US carriers will allow you to return it for a refund.
Do that and get something else.
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