Samsung Galaxy Owners Swap One Exploding Phone for Another

Is Samsung taking its exploding battery crisis as seriously as it should?

It’s a fair question after the South Korean electronics maker failed to issue an official CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recall of the phone despite 70 reports of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire.

Samsung has also offered the Galaxy S7 Edge as a replacement for the Note, even though an exploding S7 Edge recently caused severe burns to a California construction worker, blew up in a UK teacher’s hand, and caught fire while charging in a Korean man’s room.

Samsung has told its customers that “your safety is our top priority,” but the company’s actions tell a different story.

Hold Samsung Accountable

Note 7 Recall Falls Short of CPSC Guidelines

Samsung, reacting to 35 reports of the Galaxy Note 7 bursting into flames while charging, announced on Friday, September 2 that it had stopped Note 7 sales and would issue replacements for Note 7s already purchased.

The number of explosive Note incidents has since doubled to 70.

The move by Samsung was widely hailed as a “recall,” but as Consumer Reports pointed out, it was not an official recall. An official recall would have involved the Consumer Product Safety Commission and made it illegal to continue selling the Note 7.

CPSC recall protocol mandates that the company take immediate and comprehensive action to notify consumers who own the defective product. This would require Samsung to contact all affected consumers directly, which it has failed to do.

The CPSC expects a manufacturer to issue an official recall if the product in question “contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard” or “creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.”

A phone that can unexpectedly burst into flames seems to meet both of these criteria.

The CPSC announced on September 9 that it was working with Samsung to formally announce a Note 7 recall. In the meantime, though, many owners of the fire-prone phones may not be getting the message.

What’s worse: the Note 7 is not the only Samsung model with battery issues.

Galaxy S7 Edge Causes 3rd Degree Burns

As part of its Product Exchange Program, Samsung is offering all Galaxy Note 7 owners a replacement phone free of charge. Incredibly, one of the replacement options is a Galaxy S7 Edge—a device with its own explosive tendencies.

ClassAction.com attorneys recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of Daniel Ramirez, a California man who was working in Ohio when his S7 Edge caught fire in his pocket, causing second and third degree burns to large portions of his lower body. Mr. Ramirez has since undergone multiple skin grafts and will require extensive physical therapy moving forward.

Earlier this week, a 30-year-old UK woman named Sarah Crockett experienced a similar (though less physically scarring) shock when her own S7 Edge became overheated and started smoking in a crowded cafe. The incident was caught on CCTV, refuting Samsung’s claims that Ms. Crockett must have been charging her phone when it caught fire.

Like Mr. Ramirez’s phone—and a Korean man’s whose S7 Edge caught fire while charging—Ms. Crockett’s phone was charred beyond recognition.

In response to Ms. Crockett’s story, a Samsung spokesperson said, “There are no known safety issues with Galaxy S7 devices.”

The company is trying to downplay the battery issue and make it seem unique to the Note, but recent events suggest otherwise.

Hold Samsung Accountable

Could the S7 Edge Have Same Flawed Battery?

While Samsung has sold just two million Galaxy Note 7s, it sold 13.3 million Galaxy S7 Edges in the first half of 2016 alone. This, coupled with the Note-for-Edge exchange, makes it extremely likely that many more instances of flaming Edges will arise in the coming weeks and months.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Daniel Ramirez’s Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The S7 Edge is one of the best reviewed Android phones of all time, and as of August 2016 it was the most popular phone in the world.

It is not only one of the phones for which consumers can swap out their Notes, but the subject of many promotional giveaways (here and here, for example).

Unfortunately, the Note has received all the attention for its battery defects while the Edge (among other models) has flown under the radar. And without an official statement from Samsung concerning the S7 Edge, consumers may lack crucial information about the device.

ClassAction has reached out to Samsung to determine whether its Samsung SDI subsidiary, which makes the battery blamed for Galaxy Note 7 fires, also makes the S7 Edge battery.

Samsung has not responded to our calls and has refused to comment on the Daniel Ramirez lawsuit.

Samsung Has Lost $26 Billion and Counting

In most instances of a battery that catches fire, Samsung has just offered a free replacement phone to the affected party.

A quick Google or Reddit search turns up several phone fires involving the Galaxy S series. In the bulk of these cases, Samsung blamed user error or a faulty/off-brand charger and simply replaced the phone to avoid costly litigation. samsungshares

But now, with the Note 7 and S7 Edge stories gaining traction and these explosive videos going viral, the true scope of this issue is coming into focus—and it is frightening.

As more and more consumers come forward and file lawsuits, Samsung may be forced to acknowledge its design and manufacturing flaws. In time, Samsung may even have to issue official recalls of the Note 7, the S7 Edge, and other models.

Samsung has already lost $26 billion in value as a result of its volatile batteries. But the way things are going, that could be the tip of the iceberg.

Report a Galaxy Phone Fire

ClassAction.com will continue to bring consumers the latest breaking news about the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy S7 Edge, and any other Samsung phones that catch fire.

If your phone burned you, caught fire, or exploded, please contact us immediately to explore your legal options and hold Samsung accountable.

Report a Galaxy Fire

Man Sues Samsung After Exploding Galaxy S7 Edge Causes 3rd Degree Burns

(WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES)

 

Daniel Ramirez was working construction at a bookstore in Ohio when his Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge caught fire in his pocket, causing him second and third degree burns.

The May 30th incident occurred three months prior to Samsung’s recent announcement that it is recalling 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phones due to a battery flaw that can result in fires.

ClassAction.com attorneys have filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Ramirez against Samsung–the first lawsuit to be filed over a Galaxy smartphone battery fire.

 

Mr Ramirez's pants
Mr Ramirez’s pants
3rd degree burns Galaxy Edge
Mr Ramirez’s leg after surgery

Although Samsung has yet to recall the S7 Edge, ClassAction.com is calling on the company to address the safety of S7 Edge batteries in light of the terrible injuries caused by at least one of their phones.

We are also encouraging anyone whose Samsung smartphone caught fire and caused burns to submit a free case review.

View The Samsung Complaint

Battery Fires Prompt Recall, FAA Advisory

Samsung recalled its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, on Friday, September 2 in ten countries, including the United States, just two weeks after the product launched.

On Thursday, September 8, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly advised passengers not to use, charge, or even stow Galaxy Note 7 phones on domestic flights. Airlines in Australia and Singapore have gone a step further, forbidding passengers from using or charging the phones inflight.

An internal investigation by Samsung prompted by dozens of consumer complaints about phones catching fire revealed a battery flaw that affects an estimated 1 in 42,000 units.

“Came home from work, put [the Note 7] to charge a little bit before I had class. Went to put it on my waist and it caught fire.”

“There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process, so it was very difficult to figure out,” Koh Dong-in, president of Samsung’s mobile business, told reporters at a press conference.

Although no injuries have been reported in conjunction with Note 7 battery fires, close calls have been posted on social media.

A 34-year old South Korean teacher shared her story and an image of her burned phone on a popular online forum, according to the Associated Press, saying, “If the exploded phone had burned near my head, I would not have been able to write this post.” Her charred phone allegedly filled the room with chemical smoke.

Korea’s Yonhap News reported that within the first week of the Note 7 launching there were five claims of the devices exploding while charging.

In the United States, Note 7 owner Ariel Gonzalez shared a YouTube video of his scorched and melted phone, warning other users to “Be careful out there.” Gonzalez says he “Came home from work, put [the Note 7] to charge a little bit before I had class. Went to put it on my waist and it caught fire.”

Daniel Ramirez Injury Should Prompt Closer Look at S7 Edge

While Galaxy Note 7 owners have been fortunate to escape serious injury from battery fires, S7 Edge owner Daniel Ramirez was not so lucky.

A native of Tracy, California, Ramirez purchased his Galaxy S7 Edge at a Best Buy store in Modesto, California, on March 11, 2016. He was in Akron, Ohio for a construction project as part of his work for National Property Solutions Group (NPSG).

According to a lawsuit complaint filed by ClassAction.com attorneys, Ramirez placed his S7 Edge in his right front pocket on the morning of May 30, 2016 as he began work. Shortly thereafter he noticed his phone whistling, screeching, and vibrating, as well as smoke coming from his pocket.

As he reached into his pocket to remove the phone Ramirez suffered burns to his right hand. Without warning the S7 Edge exploded and caught fire while still in his pants pocket, causing his boxer shorts and pants to melt to his leg, leaving him with second and third degree burns. He suffered severe and permanent burn injuries to his groin, legs, and lower back that required a significant skin graft surgery and will necessitate extensive physical therapy moving forward.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Mr Ramirez has undergone multiple skin grafts
Mr Ramirez has undergone multiple skin grafts

Only subtle design differences separate the recalled Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The website Android Authority reports that the Galaxy Note 7 has a 3,500 mAh battery, compared to the 3,600 mAh battery used in the S7 Edge.

Samsung says that its SDI subsidiary makes the defective Note 7 battery. ClassAction.com has reached out to Samsung in an attempt to confirm whether the S7 Edge’s larger battery is also made by Samsung SDI.

Lithium ion batteries such as those used in Galaxy phones have been the subject of controversy in recent years. The ubiquitous power supplies–which provide juice to everything from laptops and phones to cars and planes–have been implicated in fire and explosion events involving Dell notebooks, Boeing passenger jets, Tesla cars, hoverboards, and electronic cigarettes.

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ClassAction.com Calls for Damages Amidst Samsung Galaxy Recall

Samsung has said that, as part of the Galaxy Note 7 recall, owners may swap their defective phone for a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. But the injuries to Ramirez suggest that this is akin to swapping one exploding phone for another.

ClassAction.com expects Samsung to address the safety of its S7 Edge batteries in the coming days as news of Mr. Ramirez’s horrific injuries circulates. In particular, we would like to know whether the manufacturing problem blamed for Note 7 battery fires also affects S7 Edge smartphones. If it does, an expanded Galaxy recall should be issued immediately to prevent further consumer harm.

To report a Samsung Galaxy that caught fire, and to learn your legal options, please submit a case review form.