Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 devices keep exploding, and the company is now taking drastic measures to reverse course.
Within the past five days, four reports surfaced from Galaxy Note 7 owners in the US claiming that their phones suddenly caught fire. Alarmingly, these devices were all replacement phones, which hit store shelves after Samsung officially recalled the initial batch of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7’s that were shipped to retailers and customers.
Citing an unnamed supplier, Korea’s Yonhap Daily reported today (Oct. 10) that the South Korean company will temporarily halt production of the Galaxy Note 7 “in cooperation with consumer safety regulators from South Korea, the United States and China.”
When asked about the report, Samsung told Quartz: “We are temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters.”
One Galaxy Note 7 phone owner in Minnesota claimed that her device began melting as she held it her hands. In Kentucky and Virginia, two Galaxy Note 7 owners each awoke from sleep to find their rooms filled with smoke coming from their devices. In Texas, one man claimed that his Galaxy Note 7 caught fire while he was having lunch, with his wife and daughter beside him. And another customer’s Galaxy Note 7 started smoking just as he boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from Kentucky to Maryland.
The cause of the replacement phone explosions remains unclear. The initial Galaxy Note 7 devices shipped to markets outside of greater China were catching fire due to faulty batteries (paywall) made by Samsung SDI, a unit of Samsung. Later replacements contained batteries made by Chinese supplier Amperex, which also had been powering Galaxy Note 7’s shipped to greater China. Amperex couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
US carriers have taken swift action to prevent the devices from reaching more customers. T-Mobile and AT&T have each suspended sales of all Galaxy Note 7 phones and replacement devices, offering consumers full refunds or exchanges for other phones sold in stores. Verizon and Sprint have agreed to offer exchanges for consumers who turn in Galaxy Note 7 devices but have yet to officially stop selling them.
Samsung Electronics’ share price opened about 3% lower on Monday morning. However, the stock continues to hover at the highs it reached around August this year, primarily because investors see more opportunity in the company’s components division than its phone division.
This post has been updated with comments from Samsung.