The most recent unfortunate news for Samsung’s beleaguered line of Galaxy Note smartphones is that over 10,000 refurbished batteries for the Note 4, a three-year-old phone, are being recalled due to a risk of overheating, with the potential of fires and burn injuries, reports the Daily Hornet.
This recall seems to be unrelated, at this point, to the 2016 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster. That recall affected every Galaxy Note 7 device because of a design flaw. There were multiple reports of Note 7 devices bursting into flames, burning a dozen people, and leading to two separate product recalls. The culprit was faulty batteries. The Note 4 recall appears to be more limited and so far, does not seem to be the fault of Samsung.
Galaxy Note 4 phones that were refurbished through AT&T’s insurance program and taken care of by FedEx Supply Chain are the only ones affected by the recall. According to Samsung, some of the devices were given “counterfeit” batteries that were manufactured with alleged defects which could make them prone to overheating, according to the Daily Hornet.
“The batteries are non-OEM, which means they were not supplied as original equipment by the phone’s manufacturer, Samsung,” read a statement.
Good news is that the Note 4 has a replaceable battery, so owners of the device just need to buy a new battery until the recall is dealt with by Samsung. FedEx is sending out replacement batteries and packaging to facilitate the return of the recalled smartphones.
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Samsung Press Release
Samsung announced in a press release: “FedEx Supply Chain is conducting this recall of non-genuine Samsung batteries as some of them are counterfeit,” the notice read. “The refurbishment program was managed by FedEx Supply Chain and operated independently of Samsung.”
This recall is relatively small. It is estimated that about 10,200 batteries are affected by the recall, which is much smaller than the three million recalled Note 7 devices.
Although the Galaxy Note 4 has been on the American market since 2014, the units affected by this recall were distributed from December 2016 to April 2017. Currently, Samsung says it is aware of only one report of a Note 4 overheating, and there was no damage to people or property.
FedEx Supply Chain Statement
Although the original Note 4 is from 2014, the batch of affected batteries were distributed between December 2016 and April 2017. “FedEx Supply Chain has recalled a batch of lithium batteries that were installed in mobile devices,” the company said in a statement, “as some of the batteries may be counterfeit. We are closely engaged with our customers to make sure all of these lithium batteries are safely and quickly returned and will replace those batteries free of charge for consumers.” A green dot has been placed on the replacement batteries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPS) said that anyone who purchased one of the recalled phones should stop using the battery immediately.
Samsung has now instituted an eight-point battery check. This is crucial as Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 7 successor, the Galaxy Note 8, on August 23. Samsung is leading the market with 22 percent and is doing everything in its power to move forward from the Galaxy 7 debacle, by demonstrating innovative features and assuring safety features for the new devices.
Plans for the Recalled Galaxy Note 7
Samsung had come under fire in the months following the Note 7’s recall, for not revealing what it planned to do with the millions of recalled phones. In February, protestors from Greenpeace disrupted a major Samsung event and demanded that the Note 7 phones get recycled or reused, rather than turned into harmful electronic waste.
In mid-July, Samsung revealed plans to break down the recalled phones into component parts, such as camera modules, chips, and displays, that can be reused or sold. The electronic giant further expects to recover 157 metric tons worth of rare metals, the company said in a statement. That’s a whopping 346,126 pounds of cobalt, copper, silver, and gold that Samsung can extract from components that it cannot otherwise reuse.
Legal Information Concerning Consumers
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More battery-related cases: Battery Defect Lawyers