FAA Considers Banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7; Another User Reports Explosion

Image courtesy of Reddit

Samsung still hasn’t officially recalled the Galaxy Note 7, its new smartphone that has a rare but very problematic issue with exploding batteries. While the company has admitted that the phones are defective and has an exchange program in place, it’s not an official recall through the Consumer Products Safety Commission. That’s a problem for the Federal Aviation Administration, since the phone would automatically be banned from planes if it had been recalled. It hasn’t, so it’s not.

The agency told Gizmodo that it is “working on guidance related to this issue,” along with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Will airline passengers have to take our phones out of the cases to have their models checked before boarding planes?

“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,” it said in an e-mailed statement.

That would be great, if the phone had been officially recalled. It hasn’t. Samsung is pulling phones off store shelves and offering exchanges to consumers who have already bought the device, but it’s not illegal to sell the devices, and theoretically retailers could still be selling them.

Meanwhile, there’s been another report of a fire caused by one of the phones: a man in Australia posted on Reddit that his device exploded and did more than $1,300 (that’s converted to US dollars) worth of damage to his hotel room. A Samsung representative promised to pay for the hotel damage.

He noted that he hadn’t heard about the recall from Samsung, even though he had ordered his device directly from Samsung Australia. We contacted the poster, but haven’t heard back yet.

Since his phone was destroyed, at least he won’t have to worry about whether he should bring it on a plane or not.

The FAA Is Considering a Ban on Samsung’s Exploding Smartphones [Gizmodo]