Evidence continues to mount that Samsung is aware there are issues with replacement Note 7 devices.
Another replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has caught fire, bringing the total number of replacement devices experiencing overheating issues to five. This particular device was owned by Michael Klering of Nicholasville, Kentucky, according to WKYT, a local Kentucky news station. Klering woke up at 4 AM where he discovered his bedroom was full of smoke and his phone was on fire.
Later that day he went to the hospital and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis related to smoke inhalation.
“The phone is supposed to be the replacement, so you would have thought it would be safe,” said Klering in an interview with WKYT. “It wasn’t plugged in. It wasn’t anything, it was just sitting there.” He claims that he only owned a supposedly safe replacement Note 7 for less than a week.
What makes the situation worse for Samsung is the company was apparently aware that Klering’s phone caught fire on Tuesday and didn’t release a statement about the incident. Klering also claims that Samsung requested to take possession of the charred phone a request that he did not agree to. Samsung did, however, x-ray the device.
And it continues; Klering says that he received a text message that seems to have accidentally been sent to him by a Samsung representative.
“Just now got this. 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,” reads the text. The validity of this text has not been verified.
Other replacement device incidents include a Note 7 catching fire on Thursday on a plane that was about to take off, then another on Friday in Minnesota where a 13-year-old girl felt a “weird, burning sensation” while holding her Note 7, before the device started emitting smoke.
While Samsung has not released an official statement regarding last week’s incidents related to replacement Note 7s, evidence is mounting that there’s something seriously wrong with the company’s new Note 7s. It is, however, important to note that while these incidents are undoubtedly serious, it’s difficult to verify that the devices in question are actual replacement Note 7s and not units sold prior to the recall. In the case of the first incident, The Verge obtained images of both the phone and a replacement box. The circumstances surrounding subsequent smoking Note 7s are more difficult to verify.
After the second reported issue with a replacement Note 7, Samsung released the following statement:
“We want to reassure our customers that we take every report seriously and we are engaged with the Zuis family to ensure we are doing everything we can for them and their daughter. Customer safety remains our highest priority as we are investigating the matter.”
Back in late September, Samsung Canada told MobileSyrup that approximately 70 percent of the 22,000 Note 7s sold in Canada have been tagged for replacement. It’s unclear where that number sits now that a few weeks have passed.
It remains to be seen why the South Korean company has not released a plan of action yet, whether that involves a new recall, or pulling all Note 7 devices from the market, but we’ve reached out to Samsung Canada for comment and will update this story when we hear back.
Update 09/10/16 17:16: Samsung Canada has released a statement to MobileSyrup regarding the recent controversy surrounding replacement devices in the United States.
“Samsung understands the concern of Canadian consumers following U.S.-based reports related to replacement Note 7 devices. There have been no reported incidents with replacement Note 7s in Canada. Samsung Electronics America is working with authorities to investigate the reported incidents and will share findings as soon as possible,” reads the statement from a Samsung representative.
Update 10/10/16 19:30: Samsung has officially asked carrier and retail partners globally to stop selling the Galaxy Note 7.
Update 09/10/16 22:38: Samsung has reportedly temporarily suspended production of the Note 7.
Update 09/10/16 19:00: A fifth replacement Note 7, this one located in Houston, Texas. According to The Verge, Daniel Franks was at lunch with his daughter and wife when a replacement device caught fire while sitting on the table.
Franks says that the Note 7 was replaced at Best Buy store in late September. The Verge also reported that Franks’ eight-year-old daughter often played Minecraft on the smartphone and that he was concerned what could have happened if she happened to be using the device at the time of the incident. It does not seem like this particular incident with a replacement Note 7 was verified.
Update 09/10/16 17:45: Another incident of a replacement Note 7 bursting into flames surfaced this afternoon, according to The Verge. This brings the total number of replacement Note 7s experiencing issues to a total of five.
“My Galaxy Note 7 replacement phone just burst into flames while on the night stand,” said Shawn Minter of Virginia in an email sent to The Verge. “It filled my bedroom with a smoke. The same as the Kentucky man. I woke up in complete panic.”
Minter reportedly sent copies of his receipts and photographs showing the box of his Note 7, including exchange dates and serial numbers, confirming to the publication that his phone was indeed a replacement device.