US regulators investigating case of replacement Note 7 going ablaze on a plane

By , Oct 6, 2016


Jordan Golson, reporting for The Verge, is writing that the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is opening an investigation into yesterday’s incident when Southwest Airlines flight 994 from Louisville to Baltimore was evacuated while still at the gate because of a smoking Note 7.

A spokesperson for the airline told The Verge that all passengers and crew exited the plane through the main cabin door and no injuries were reported.

“More worrisome is the fact that the phone in question was a replacement Galaxy Note 7, one that was deemed to be safe by Samsung,” reads the article.

Samsung has attempted to wash its hands of the incident, providing the following questionable statement to The Verge:

Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.

Brian Green, owner of the exploding Note 7, said he had picked up his replacement Note 7 at an AT&T store on September 21 shortly after a global recall of Samsung’s flagship smartphone was announced.

Here’s Green’s recollection of the incident:

Green said that he had powered down the phone as requested by the flight crew and put it in his pocket when it began smoking. He dropped it on the floor of the plane and a “thick grey-green angry smoke” was pouring out of the device. Green’s colleague went back onto the plane to retrieve some personal belongings and said that the phone had burned through the carpet and scorched the subfloor of the plane.

Green says he only used a wireless charger since receiving the replacement Note 7, suggesting an issue with a built-in battery probably caused it to went ablaze on the plane. The phone’s IMEI passed Samsung’s recall eligibility checker, yielding a “Great News!” message saying that the device is not affected by the recall.

Be that as it may, his Note 7 is now in possession of the Louisville Fire Department’s arson unit for investigation. More worryingly for Samsung, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation into the incident.

As for Green, he has already replaced his exploded Note 7 replacement with a brand spanking new iPhone 7, Golson reports. As if Samsung didn’t already have a lot on its plate with exploding Note 7 devices, now it’s facing a potentially even more dangerous crisis where even Note 7 replacements seem to be catching fire.

Source: The Verge

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  • NolesFan


    I’ve been waiting for my replacement Note 7 now for a month, now this? I’m going to jump ship on this phone and back to my iPhone.

    • Bugs Bunnay

      You don’t have to jump ship. You can have 2 ships!

      • Rowan09

        Yes but it’s obvious getting a Note 7 at this point is not the right move.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Just think of it as a very risky gamble! 😀

      • Rowan09


  • triggerhappypunk

    “Green’s colleague went back onto the plane to retrieve some personal belongings”

    There’s something just not right here… why would airport personnel let somebody back on to an evacuated airplane?

    So it makes me also wonder about the rest of the story…

    And I’m an Apple fanboy.

    • Dave Kurt

      CBS, BBC News and other news outlets have reported on this story. I wouldn’t be too skeptical… The details are probably off but what matters; A replaced Note 7 malfunctioning, Samsung’s response, investigation and whatnot are likely true.

    • YaBoyLilMayo

      Lol maybe it was important stuff, that doesn’t make it fake. He could’ve been at the front of the plane about to step off then turned around. Doesn’t say he went off waited a few min and went back

    • The Zlatan

      Dude, if you evacuate a plane it doesn’t mean you will never see all your left behind belongings..

      • triggerhappypunk

        Ah ok I get it, he probably went back on the plane at a later time, once the threat (phone) was removed and plane deemed safe to re-board. When I first read it I had assumed he went back on the plane and actually witnessed the phone burning through the carpet.

  • Xee

    Best to avoid the the Note 7 completely!

  • Scott Fowler

    I want to know how they figure Samsung is trying to wash their hands of this? They have no comment until they can get their hands on the phone. Completely legit. Need to verify everything.
    I still have my Note 7 from day one. Have had no problems with it. The extremely small amount of phones that have had problems is nothing. Some of the so called Note 7 problems have been proved false. For all those who say Apple Aplle Apple, remember the iPhones have blown up and caught fire also.

    • Kzboi

      Riiiight… Not knowing if your phone will explode on a plane is nothing. It’s not like people’s lives are in danger. Your fanboism is so obvious.

      • Scott Fowler

        The main point to my comment is the author is trying to say Samsung is washing their hands if this. That is not true. They need the phone to verify what has happened, if it is actually a new version phone or if the phone has been tampered with.
        I am an Android fan. However, if there is a problem, it needs to be fixed.

      • Dave Kurt
      • Shadowelite123

        You seem to be clueless of what is actually being said. The expression used is directed at the beginning of the Note 7 incidents and that Samsung was trying to wash their hands from that as in its over with, however this and a few other incidents started coming up with replacement devices.

    • CASEACE79

      Extremely small amount of phones? Samsung wouldn’t issue an entire product recall if it were a small #. There are analysts that look at the cost of lawsuits because of the defect vs an entire recall. They’ll only do the recall if financially they would lose more in lawsuits. Now they have estimated that the recall has cost Samsung upwards of $1billion. Wonder how much they estimated the lawsuits to cost? Either way it isn’t a small number of phones affected. That comment was pure fanboyism and hope that your phone isn’t affected.

      • Scott Fowler

        I read somewhere that the failure rate was something like .02%. I just looked up and it says Consumer Reports estimates the problem affects 24 phones out of a million. Which is 1 for every 42,000 sold. So yes that is a small percent.
        I will stick with my Note 7, hasn’t failed yet, doubt it will. If it does, then my fault for keeping it.
        An iPhone fanboi must love using the term fanboy on someone else.
        Look at the problems the iPhones have had and continue to have. Antenna gate, screens failing and Apple not doing anything. There have been iPhone 6 and 7’s that have exploded and or caught fire.
        Also Samsung did the recall on their own, before anyone said they had to.

      • Rowan09

        Samsung said the phone using their batteries were defective hence the reason for the recall. Does it mean all Note 7s will have this issue no but a recall is there for a reason. It makes no sense to wait and see what happens when the company themselves told you don’t. If something happens one day you will be totally liable to fixing it and not Samsung.

      • Scott Fowler

        I know that and understand that completely. I am waiting until there are no more stories it issues with the new 7. Then I will return it. I use the features of my Note to much to have another phone. With mine working great, why chance it for one that might have issues.

      • Rowan09

        What feature the stylus?

      • Scott Fowler

        Kind if but no so much. I do use it for signatures and such. However, it is the native note taking apps. And the editing software that works hand in hand. Yes I know there are apps I can download that will work together to get the same thing. They just will will not be as smooth as what the Note has. Also all my docs and such from my last Note sync up and ate useable.

      • Shadowelite123

        That’s the same on the options we have on iOS. As for stylus terms, there won’t be anything like the a pen, however if the pen alone is worth it all, I’d reconsider rethinking your options, in my opinion.

      • Scott Fowler

        I came from Palm, to Windows Mobile to Android. Ran through a lot different phones until the Note line came out. That was the closest I had to Palm and Windows Mobile for what I needed. IOS is good, just never liked Apple, even before the iThis days. I have to much invested in apps for Android to make the switch.

      • Storm

        “I have to (sic) much invested in apps for Android to make the switch”

        If you had substituted “iOS” for “Android” in the above quote, Android users would have accused you of being “locked-in” to Apple’s ecosystem. Funny old world, isn’t it?

      • Scott Fowler

        The difference is, I am an equal opportunity hater. I hate Android at times as much I do not like Apple. I would use a Windows system to do graphic stuff instead of a Mac.

      • Storm

        I can’t bring myself to hate any tech. It’s just wasted energy.

      • kokeropie

        Other than stylus, does Note 7 has more things better than Galaxy S7 or 7Edge? I’m just trying to understand differences between Note and Galaxy S series.

      • Scott Fowler

        Yee the Note has more to offer than the S line. Biggest is the integrated note and editing apps. That is why they are two different lines of phones.

      • Dave Kurt

        The problem is likely deteriorative though… When rather than if, if you will.

      • To be fair, (unless you can point out otherwise) no iPhone has just spontaneously exploded before. There were reports that using cheap chargers that tried to get around Apple’s MFI certifications were causing problems a few years back, and other stories like the man who fell of his bike and his phone caught fire in the impact last year. But the thing that every iPhone caught fire story has is that some outside influence was at work.

        Batteries can explode when they are subjected to punctures, impacts, short circuiting or extreme temperatures. The difference here is that Samsung appears to have designed a phone that has significant cooling issues and as a result overheats the battery to the point of inciting failures. That’s quite a bit different than causing a fire with a rogue Chinese knockoff cable that shorts out or a sudden impact to the phone in an accident.

        Also as far as antenna gate goes, that wasn’t the major issue people made it out to be either. The original issue was that the phone wasn’t calibrated correctly and was giving the impression that iPhones had much better connections than they really did. Anything that interrupted that in the slightest caused the Phone to drop what should have been reported as a 1 bar connection. If you remember though, one of the first patches for that phone was an update that fixed incorrect reporting of signal strength. But I’d hardly rate in-correctly calibrated antenna sensors on the same level as the Note 7 which has overheating issues that can end catastrophically.

  • Rowan09

    No surprise because I read an article and even posted on IDB that the company investigating the Note 7 issues said they didn’t know what really cause Notes to go up in flames. I’ve said it before and Samsung should just stop with the Note 7 and go back to the drawing board. The problem now is that even if the Note 8 is perfectly fine and 2 devices are reported as bad, it’s not good for Samsung. Another interesting thing to notice is that it seems people who purchase Samsung devices aren’t really interested in Android much. This guy or whoever could have easily just purchased some other Android, but instead he came to the iPhone 7. One of the reasons why I said yesterday the Pixel is dead on arrival.

    • Shadowelite123

      Yea I’ve also seem around me that that’s also the case. I’ve only met a few die hard android fans with Samsung devices. As for the Pixel, I felt as if they were trying too hard to 1up the iPhone with an extra .3 megapixels to the rear camera and the front camera 1 up from the iPhone 7’s FaceTime camera. Plus it looked like a poorly made out design where they tried to make the latest Nexus 5X and 6P designs “their own”

  • Bugs Bunnay

    When there are note 7’s on a plane. I mean snakes.

  • I guess this doesn’t really surprise me. Last time Samsung made a public statement it was to ignore all the indicators that the problem was something in their phone getting so hot it was causing batteries to explode and instead tried to put all the blame on the battery manufacturers themselves (for I guess not being able to operate in extreme temperatures).

    Since batteries don’t do well in high temperature environments unless Samsung takes responsibility I can’t see this really ending. Too bad really. But maybe this time around we might get a genuine apology from Samsung?

    • Rowan09

      Samsung is the ones that’s makes the battieries too. I read before they got an outside company to do an investigation to find out it wasn’t the battery alone, it was something else. In conclusion swapping the batteries won’t fix the issue. Samsung need to scrap the Note 7 line this year and work on the Note 8 instead of damaging the Note brand further.

      • Are you sure about that? It was my impression that there were two companies that Samsung was outsourcing batteries too and one of the companies seemed to have the batteries that were exploding and Samsung “fired” them.

        But either way, like you said if that “something else” isn’t dealt with it’s only a matter of time before it rears it’s ugly head again.

      • Shadowelite123

        I heard as well that they were manufacturing their own battery cells for their devices.

      • Oh you are right. I keep forgetting how fragmented Samsung is. I guess the battery supplier was Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics holds 20% ownership of them. Apparently they did “fire” SDI and are now using Amperex Technology to make their batteries. So the internal investigation by “Samsung” was from Samsung SDI and not Samsung Electronics. So both Samsung companies are blaming each other for these incidents.

        Since this story would indicate that a phone supplied with an Amperex Technology battery started to smoke. I guess that means that Samsung SDI was right about Samsung Electronics being wrong. So I guess Samsung should rehire Samsung since it was right about being wrong and apologize to Samsung for being blamed with the Samsung fiasco when it was really Samsung’s fault to begin with… Or… something like that…

      • Antonakis Kipouros Nikopolidis

        Last part….. Best comment ever

      • Rowan09


  • Miroslav Miklovic

    The problem is that Samsung is too far from others (market and design*), all this problems are so “good” timed it starts to looks like well planned attack Samsung… It’s not like Samsung created first battery, it’s not even something special, it’s just battery like many others before, there are phones with more than 1/3 bigger batteries or power banks wich are 6 times bigger capacity…

    Regarding this “incident”, we need to wait for Samsung. It’s not hard to change IMEI and icon color if you want, but Samsung probably want to check some other internal marking to be sure…

    Even if this whole story was true, it will not render into end of note series it will only bring even better Note phablet…

    *Display, IP98, curved display, iris, VR, multitasking, SPen, …

    • Rowan09

      People are unforgiving with technology and once they are fed up it costs a lot to get them back if ever. Samsung doesn’t know what causes the issue and hoping changing batteries would fix the issue. I work at the airport in NY and they tell all Note 7 owners to completely turn off their phones during flight before coming on the planes. Samsung need to scrap the Note 7 line and move on to the Note 8 for redemption and make sure they don’t make this mistake again.

  • Rowan09

    But companies have more than a year. Of course there will always be some issues, but safety issues like this is just unacceptable. Apple released the iPhone 7 and already started working on the iPhone 8 a while back. 1 year is more than enough time and with technology 3 years is outdated.

  • Rodney Coleman

    That shitty snap dragon

  • Rodney Coleman

    Idiot the note 5 to note 7 was a 2 year difference. Need to get your facts straight

    • techfreak23

      Idiot I’m talking about in general, not just Samsung specifically.

      Edit: Samsung also admitted that they rushed the release to beat the iPhone 7 to market, idiot.

    • p1noyako

      There was no Note 6 at all. Samsung jumped from Note 5 to Note 7.

  • Lalhluna
  • Suppachoke Boonyayut

    Note 7 is movable bomb from Korea.

    • Xee

      Samsung Note 7 – the terrorists phone of choice lol

  • Dave Kurt

    Read JohnS.’s message again. You obviously didn’t read it properly.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, All batteries are susceptible to thermal runaway, It’s simply a product of chemistry. Samsung’s problem is beyond that, There’s a flaw that was obviously overlooked. Batteries are well understood. This isn’t about some modest guy making a mistake, it’s about Samsung cutting costs and corners… It really makes you question their integrity.

  • Dave Kurt

    I can pull up just as many relatable stories involving other android phones… After all, these things do happen.

  • Hey Scott, I took a look at the 3 items you posted (I noticed those last two are for the same incident) and while the first one does seem to be a failed iPhone component, the second one no one knows what happened, and the third one is widely believed to be a fake. But that aside perhaps I can better explain my point this way.

    Lets start by making an assumption that the average game console will eventually burn out given enough use and age ok? Now, if we look at the xbox that Microsoft released a few years back we see something interesting. They had a defect in which the wiring for the cooling system ran over the hottest part of the device causing the wiring to melt before the cooling system turned on and resulting in the famous red ring of death. Now sure you could argue that all devices eventually fail. You can point out rare or isolated incidents of other devices failing as well to overheating. But when there is a design flaw that causes failure (and everyone acknowledges it) this is something entirely different from a part breaking down over the course of time.

    So just for the sake of argument here, say I concede the point and say that yes all 3 of those iPhone exploded. What we could say in all of those cases is that they were the result of some internal component failing. Now if we look at Samsung’s phones, there is an issue with overheating that has been verified by multiple different companies now (Samsung SDI being one of them). And that heat source is in very close proximity to the battery (all of which tell you not to dispose of in fire for very good reason) and that makes the phone significantly higher likelihood for catastrophic failure.

    So I’m sorry if the original comment about iPhones not exploding took this thread off point, but hopefully this straightens it out more. My point (poorly stated as it was) wasn’t that no iPhone has ever malfunctioned, but that all malfunctions are due to external influences (and this time I’ll add or component failure).

  • mwpitt52

    It will now be interesting to see how the airlines will handle the Note 7. I flew last week and anyone with Note 7 had to power it down and keep off during flight. Will the airlines start banning the Note 7 period?