Samsung said it has collected more than 93 percent of all Galaxy Note7 phablets in the U.S. under its refund and exchange program since recalling the flame-prone phone.
But to ensure that the remaining 7 percent pose no fire hazard, the company will begin issuing an over-the-air (OTA) software update that will essentially render the handsets useless.
The update will prevent the phones from charging, thereby averting the overheating-battery issues that prompted two worldwide recalls, and forcing the devices to eventually power down.
The OTA will be released Dec. 19 and is expected to reach all users within 30 days. Samsung, which described its action as “taking bold steps,” said it will continue to work with mobile carriers to remind customers of the exchange program.
Reports of battery-related fires began surfacing soon after the Note7’s release last summer, which led to an initial recall in September and their replacement with amended models.
Samsung eventually pulled the plug on the phablet permanently when replacement models began smoldering as well.