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Samsung Reassessing Galaxy Note7 Amid More Reports Of Fires

At least two carriers halting sales, exchanges 10/10/2016 10:15:00 AM Eastern

Samsung has paused production of its beleaguered Galaxy Note7 phablet amid mounting reports of replacement phones catching fire.

“We are temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters,” Samsung said in a statement provided to TWICE.

The smartphone, which was released in August to favorable reviews, was recalled six weeks later due to defective batteries that caused some phones to smolder, melt or combust.

Now, the replacement phones made available for trade-in through a joint effort with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPSC) are also reportedly igniting.

One high-profile incident occurred last week on a Southwest Airlines jet awaiting takeoff at Louisville International Airport, when a Galaxy Note7 began billowing smoke, forcing the plane’s evacuation. The phone was later identified as a post-recall replacement model that was purchased at an AT&T store.

With reports of problematic replacement phones growing, at least two carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile, have essentially dropped the phone from their mobile device lineups.

>>Update: Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Best Buy have now reportedly discontinued selling the Note7 as well.

AT&T said it already stopped selling Note7s last month, and would no longer offer them to customers in exchange for their recalled handsets. Instead, customers can opt for “any other smartphone,” the carrier said, as it awaits the outcome of Samsung’s investigation into the issue.

“Due to a battery issue and serious fire and burn hazards posed by the Galaxy Note7, we strongly encourage you to power down your device and exchange your current Galaxy Note7 as soon as possible for another device that meets your needs,” AT&T noted. 

Similarly, T-Mobile said yesterday  it is “temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note7 and exchanges for replacement Note7 devices” while Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues. The magenta carrier is offering Note7 owners full refunds or the choice of any phone in its inventory.

To help get the word out, T-Mo CEO John Legere tweeted that the company is halting sales and exchanges of the phones “out of an abundance of caution for our customers.”

In a separate statement, Samsung said it respects the carriers’ decisions to halt Note7 sales and exchanges, and is “working diligently with authorities and third-party experts and will share findings when we have completed the investigation.”

The company continued, “Even though there are a limited number of reports, we want to reassure customers that we are taking every report seriously. If we determine a product safety issue exists, Samsung will take immediate steps approved by the CPSC to resolve the situation.”

Related: A Tale of Two 7s

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