Carriers Yank Galaxy Note 7 as Samsung Halts Production

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Samsung today halted production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones following reports that some replacement devices have caught fire. The company also asked that retailers stop selling the phones.

"We are working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note 7," the company said in a statement. "Because consumers' safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place."

Korea's Yonhap News Agency, citing an anonymous official at a Samsung supplier, said eight cases—five in the US, one in South Korea, one in Taiwan—of new handsets have overheated and burst into flames.

Samsung is "taking every report seriously," the company told PCMag, "even though there are a limited number of reports.

T-Mobile is "temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices." Customers can still bring recalled phones to a T-Mobile store for a full refund, and their choice of any handset in the carrier's inventory. Just don't expect to go home with another Note 7.

Verizon is doing the same. "While the [CPSC] investigation is underway, Verizon is suspending the exchange of replacement Note 7 smartphones," a spokeswoman told PCMag in an emailed statement. "Any Verizon customer concerned about the safety of their replacement Note 7 can take it back to the original point of purchase to exchange it for another smartphone. Verizon online customers may also exchange their replacement Note 7 smartphones at Verizon stores."

AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but The Verge reports that it too is halting Note 7 sales.

"We recognize that carrier partners have stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 in response to reports of heat damage issues, and we respect their decision," Samsung said in a statement. "We are working diligently with authorities and third party experts and will share findings when we have completed the investigation."

Reports surfaced in August of the Galaxy Note 7 overheating, burning users, and, in some cases, exploding. Samsung issued a global recall of an estimated 2.5 million devices, chalking the flaw up to a manufacturing problem. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urged "all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device."

Samsung later delivered 500,000 new, allegedly safer, Note 7s to carriers and stores, distributing at least half of them. But it appears they, too, have issues.

Earlier this month, a reportedly safe Note 7 smartphone started smoking and forced the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight. And over the weekend, reports emerged of more replacement handsets catching fire or fuming. A Minnesota teenager told the local news station that her replacement device "melted in her hands," leaving the 13-year-old with a small burn on her thumb. A couple in Kentucky, meanwhile, work to find their bedroom filled with smoke—from the flames of a replace Note 7.

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 6:50 p.m. ET with comment from Samsung.

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