Spontaneous combustion sounds like something out of a horror film, but it’s been a real concern for Samsung and thousands of Galaxy Note7 owners. Upon Samsung receiving 92 reports of issues with batteries overheating in the United States alone, which included reports of burn injuries and property damage, it was clear action needed to be taken. Accordingly, Samsung announced the recall of 1 million Note7 devices due to the fire risk posed by faulty lithium-ion batteries. The recall only applies to Note7 phones purchased prior to September 15, 2016, but that may still leave you wondering if your phone is included in the recall or not.
Fortunately, much effort has been made to make it as simple and easy as possible for consumers to determine if their device was included in the Samsung Galaxy Note7 recall. The easiest way to find out is through the Samsung+ app. Samsung+ is a support app to help troubleshoot issues, offer device diagnostics, and allow users to instantly get in touch with Samsung’s support team. Alternatively, you can check your device’s IMEI, or serial number, through Samsung here, to verify whether or not your phone should be replaced.
If that wasn’t enough, Samsung has also rolled out a software update to help notify consumers who have not returned their devices that they should do so immediately. With this update, non-affected devices will display the battery life indicator at the top right corner of the screen in green and recalled devices will show the battery in gray or white. To further alert those still using a recalled device, affected Note 7s will display a warning screen advising users to power off their phone and replace it every time the phone is rebooted or charged.
If you’ve determined you still have a recalled device, you may be wondering what to do next. The first step is to turn off your phone. These recalled devices are not safe and can overheat and catch fire, as stated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Turning off your phone will prevent overheating and reduce the risk of your phone catching fire.
Your next step will be to contact your cellular carrier or the retailer from which you purchased your device. Carriers and retailers across the U.S. are well aware of the recall and Samsung’s exchange program so returning your device and finding the best solution for your needs should be easy. As a part of Samsung’s exchange program, consumers will be given the option to either exchange their device for a new Note7, a different Samsung smartphone, or a complete refund. If a different device of less value than the Note7 is chosen, a refund of the difference will be given.
Each carrier and retailer has their own policy for handling the recall and honoring Samsung’s exchange program. For instance, if you’re carrier is T-Mobile, all you need to do is bring your recalled Galaxy Note7 to any T-Mobile store location to exchange your device for free, regardless of whether you purchased your device online, over the phone, or in a T-Mobile store.
You may be well aware that you have a recalled device but haven’t returned your phone for whatever reason. You might want to do so sooner rather than later, especially if you plan on flying! Issued in a statement on September 16, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prohibited the use of the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note7 by passengers traveling on airplanes. The FAA has also advised that passenger cannot charge the recalled Note7 while on board and the devices cannot be placed in checked luggage. At this point, non-recalled Samsung devices are perfectly fine to travel with.
Exploding lithium-ion batteries are no joke, especially when so many of us leave our smartphones plugged in overnight. Although most people haven’t had a problem with their Galaxy Note7, the risk of the device bursting into flames while you’re using it or while you’re sound asleep is not worth it. It’s easy to get a new device or a refund through Samsung’s exchange program so why wait?