Samsung recently announced a worldwide recall of all 2.5 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which launched on August 19. This is because of a manufacturing process error, which may cause the battery to overheat and explode. As of September 1, there have been over 35 cases of “battery explosion,” but the number appears to be climbing quickly. Just today, a Florida man’s Jeep allegedly caught fire from a Note 7 plugged into the car’s USB port.
Here is an image of an exploded Note 7, uploaded by Reddit user brodesto.
Qantas, its low-cost subsudiary JetStar, and Virgin Australia have now issued a ban on the smartphone. You are still allowed to bring them on the plane, but you will not be allowed to turn them on or plug them in. They are not doing so under the order of authorities, so it’s a “voluntary ban.” Qantas says in an emailed statement:
Following Samsung Australia’s recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 personal electronic device, we are requesting that passengers who own them do not switch on or charge them in flight.
The FAA is also investigating the matter, as it tells Gizmodo in an email:
The FAA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are working on guidance related to this issue. If the device is recalled by the manufacturer, airline crew and passengers will not be able to bring recalled batteries or electronics that contain recalled batteries in the cabin of an aircraft, or in carry-on and checked baggage.
They have also published a statement on FAA’s website, advising passengers against turning on or plugging in the device onboard:
In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.
Apparently, Samsung did not involve US Consumer Product Safety Commission in the “recall,” so officially, the Note 7 is not a “recalled product.” Gizmodo also contacted Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines, all of which said there are no immediate plans to ban the use of the smartphone onboard.
In practice, I think this is much harder to enforce than say, the hoverboard ban. Here is hoping people will comply and that Samsung can replace those phones in a timely manner!
Customers with the phone is encouraged to call Samsung at 1-800-SAMSUNG regarding the replacement.