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Samsung to Disable Defective Galaxy Note7 Phones

Samsung recently announced that it will disable its defective Galaxy Note7 cellphones. The electronic company has released a software update that will prevent the phones from charging.

As we previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, the lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Note7 smartphones can overheat and catch fire, posing a serious fire and burn hazard to consumers. To date, Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries in Note7 phones overheating in the United States. The company has also received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Note7 phones.

The recall covers approximately 1.9 million phones in the United States. Samsung expanded the initial recall after determining that replacement Galaxy Note7 devices could also overheat. Given the serious injury risks, Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advised consumers that they should immediately stop using and power down all Galaxy Note7 devices, including Note7 devices received as replacements in the previous recall.

Now, Samsung is going one step further. "To further increase participation (in the recall), a software update will be released starting on December 19 that will prevent US Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices," Samsung said in a statement. Consumers can exchange the recalled device for another Samsung smartphone, or receive a refund.

Verizon initially stated it would not participate in the update to disable the phones out of concern that Galaxy Note7 users may not have another device to switch to. “We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation,” Verizon said in a statement. However, the company later announced it would push out the software update to its users in January.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious harm due to a defective Samsung Galaxy Note7 or other smartphone, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, please contact a San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.