Things looked bad for Samsung when a customer’s replacement Galaxy Note 7 — a “safe” device — suddenly burst into flames on an airplane. Now a half dozen more have caught fire.
Over the weekend, reports started popping up all around the globe. From Kentucky to Korea to Australia, replacement Note 7s were revealing themselves as being every bit as dangerous to use as the recalled devices they’d been swapped for.
So far, incidents include a 13-year-old Minnesota girl whose hand was burned (that’s her phone above), a Taiwanese woman whose Note 7 exploded while in her pocket, and a Kentucky man who had to be rushed to the hospital after his Note 7 filled his bedroom with smoke and caused him to vomit up “a lot of black stuff.”
The last case sounds pretty bad, right? Well, it gets worse. Apparently, a Samsung legal rep who had been in communication with the man sent him an errant text message — one that was pretty clearly meant for someone else at Samsung. It read, “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.”
That’s not exactly the kind of thing Samsung needs getting out while they’re managing the biggest smartphone fiasco ever. They need to stick to figuring out what’s causing the failures and then putting a stop to it once and for all.
To that end, the company announced today that they’re halting Galaxy Note 7 production. They’re not shutting it down for good, mind you. A company spokesperson says that they’ve hit the pause button to attend to “quality and safety matters.” It’s a drastic measure, but one that’s necessary if they want to avoid the possibility of a second recall.
Analysts figure that the first round cost Samsung more than a billion dollars. The shutdown is sure to hurt, but it’ll hurt a whole lot less than asking for another mulligan. If you’re a Note 7 owner and you feel like enough is enough already, just head back to your carrier and swap it for another device. Most are all too happy to get the Note 7 out of their customer’s hands.