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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 pulled soon after introduction

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Consumers who purchased the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are being told to exchange them for another device in the wake of the discovery of a potentially dangerous defect. Some have exploded while they were charging.

The 5.7-inch Note 7 “phablets” went on sale just weeks ago at a hefty retail price of $850, but the company has already sold 2.5 million of them. The devices were touted for their water resistance and large storage ability. They can also be unlocked with the user’s iris. However, they have been pulled off the shelves until the battery issue can be resolved.

Samsung has said that only a “small number” of defective phones have been discovered, but that it is “taking a proactive approach to address customer needs.”

Several U.S. wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, are offering customers exchanges for another device or, in some cases, refunds. Customers can also exchange their Note 7s for other devices via Samsung’s Product Exchange Program.

This isn’t the first case of electronics powered by lithium-ion batteries exploding. Exploding hoverboards and laptop computers have been in the news within the last year for exploding or catching fire due to their battery issues.

It’s not been reported that any injuries or damages (aside from a destroyed smartphone) have resulted from this most recent defect. However, that is always a possibility when any item could potentially explode or catch fire.

Fortunately, many leading manufacturers have learned that it’s best to recall potentially dangerous products sooner rather than later, even if the recall damages their brand and consumer confidence. This can help them avoid the potential for injury, or worse, and the threat of costly litigation.

Source: USA Today, “Samsung to recall Galaxy Note 7 off battery issue,” Mike Snider, Sep. 02, 2016

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.