US government bans Samsung’s Note 7 from all domestic flights

By , Oct 14, 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and The Department of Transportation (DoT) have banned Samsung’s recalled Note 7 smartphones from all domestic airline flights in the United States beginning Saturday, officials announced in an emergency order.

A few days ago, Samsung permanently stopped production of the troubled smartphone following incidents in which replacement devices it deemed safe exhibited the same fire-prone defect, even when powered down.

The emergency order will be on display in the Federal Register display on Friday, October 14, 2016, and the ban will be effective on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at noon ET.

Before today, the Note 7 was allowed on planes provided passengers powered their device down before takeoff. Here’s security camera footage showing a Note 7 catching fire in a woman’s hand.

“The fire hazard with the original Note7 and with the replacement Note7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall,” said the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Chairman Elliot Kaye.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx added:

We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority. We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.

Under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations which forbid airline passengers or crew from traveling with lithium cells or batteries or portable electronic devices that are likely to generate a dangerous evolution of heat, the Note 7 is now officially considered a forbidden hazardous material.

“If an airline representative observes that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Note 7 device prior to boarding an aircraft, the air carrier must deny boarding to the passenger unless and until the passenger divests themselves and their carry-on and checked baggage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device,” reads the note.

“Passengers absolutely should not pack the phones in their checked luggage,” added DoT. If you attempt to evade the ban by packing your Note 7 in checked luggage and get caught, you may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explodes

“If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices, the phones may be confiscated and passengers may face fines,” said DoT.

US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued a special permit to Samsung to facilitate commercial shipment of the recalled devices by ground transportation.

I’m not surprised that the US government is banning Note 7 from domestic flights: after all, batteries inside some replacement Note 7 devices have smoldered and burst into flames on US flights.

“Samsung has announced an expanded voluntary recall on all original and replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices sold or exchanged in the United States in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and in partnership with carriers and retailers,” the South Korean firm wrote on the official Note 7 Recall webpage.

“Since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, we are asking consumers with a Galaxy Note 7 to power it down and contact the carrier or retail outlet where they purchased their device,” reads Samsung’s notice.

According to Samsung itself, the Note 7 recall will cost them approximately $3 billion in operating profit due to discontinued sales, following a significant reduction in its third quarter earnings guidance in which it slashed profit forecast by a third.

Samsung plans to make up for the loss in sales from the discontinued Note 7 by expanding sales of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge and has said that it will focus on enhancing product safety for consumers by making “significant changes in its quality assurance processes.”

20161010_samsung_business segments chart
Samsung Electronics’s business segments chart via Business Insider.

A Samsung spokesperson told Business Insider earlier this week that the company plans to share its findings on what caused the Note 7 to overheat “in a few weeks.”

According to the statement:

The replacement phones have batteries from a separate and different supplier than the original Note 7 devices. We’re currently conducting a thorough investigation, and it would be premature to speculate on outcomes. We will share more information in the coming weeks.

Reports by Bloomberg and The New York Times suggested that Samsung’s rush to find replacement batteries may be to blame for the Note 7 disaster.

In the meantime, the perception of Samsung’s entire brand has tumbled over Note 7 fires, as per data from the polling company YouGov BrandIndex which takes a daily poll of more than 4,800 participants from a representative US population sample.

Asked to pick the brands they will consider when they are next in the market to buy a specific product, 31 percent of survey participants named Samsung as their choice versus 42 percent back in June.

Samsung’s recommend score has taken an even bigger hit, dropping in the United States from 46 in June to 29 when the most recent survey was taken. Recommend score is a measure from 100 to -100 of whether people are likely to recommend the brand to friends or tell them to avoid it.

Samsung Note 7 fires YouGov BrandIndex

Finally, Samsung’s “Buzz” score has plummeted from 27 at the end of June to -6.9.

Samsung reportedly learned from the Note 7 fiasco, with one report out of South Korea alleging that the company is “paying extra careful attention” to an upcoming ‘Galaxy S8’ smartphone series because of all the “huge changes”.

Source: DoT via Bloomberg

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Gethro

    Which camera was that and the home-video I’m thinking of buying one

    • Chris Wagers

      That’s pretty awesome footage.

      • Gethro

        Yeah for sure captures the whole room

  • Danuel Carr

    It just keeps getting funnier.

    • You remember when Samsung put those posters in airports all over the world near outlets bragging about their battery life? I’d love to see someone put up a poster that reads, “Samsung have you grounded? Fly with our phone today!”

      • Oh gosh, I remember when they temporarily renamed Heathrow Terminal 5 to “Heathrow Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5”.

    • leart

      they trolled in campaigns for years apple about selling devices without a removable battery … now 3-4 years later they sold in the marked a device wil explosive battery on a non removable phone…

      • Mike

        Yes they removed the ability to replace batteries but they also added features such as fast charging and wireless charging which the iphone 7 should’ve had since apple is wanting to go “wireless”

      • leart

        but why removed the ability? they made huge campaigns of the benefit of having a removable battery ? did they apologized for convincing people for years ?
        for the wireless charging … if you like it, I’m pretty sure it would be a amazing feature.. personally I’m sceptic.. I even shutdown all my devices at night just to have a little less electromagnetic wave in air

  • I feel like Samsung is lying yet again by saying they are paying extra careful attention this year to the design. If they want to release next year’s phone around the same date as this year’s their phone design must be nearly complete if not already in the early stages of manufacturing.

    • Mike

      The only problem with the phone was battery. Everything else was fine. Plus big companies already have a plan what the next phone is going to be like way before time.

      • Actually that’s not true according to Samsung SDI and other independent researchers. As I’m sure you’re aware if you’ve ever read the warning on batteries before they do not do well in high temperature situations. This is why every single battery tells you not to dispose of it in fire. Turns out that the problem wasn’t the battery it was a component near it that was getting so hot without proper cooling that the batteries were reacting to it. This was proven by the origin of melting on the devices, the fact that phones continued to explode once new batteries from different companies were put in, and by Samsung’s later press announcement that they would be permanently discontinuing the line.

  • What

    Dang about 3 billion down the drain

  • Mark S

    Karma for ripping off iphone features?

    • rockdude094

      By that logic apple should be bankrupt by now lol

      • LOL, really now? Even if you can back that claim up with examples, the amount that Samsung steals from others and the malicious ways they have done it in the past is in a league of it’s own in this world.

      • ic0dex

        Apple steals plenty… relax fan boy. And don’t forget, half of the parts in your iPhone and Macs are made by Samsung.

      • Oh I have never once claimed Apple was perfect, I’m just at a loss for what they specifically stole from Samsung is all.

        And I’m aware that parts of many phones are made by Samsung. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully someday another company will rival Samsung’s ability to fabricate chips and parts and other companies can stop relying on them. The tech world would certainly be better off for it.

      • Rowan09

        Really how parts makes up half? Plus what does that mean because Apple pays Samsung for labor for a chip designed by Apple not Samsung

      • John

        Half? Really?
        Top half? Bottom half? Back half?

        Which half?

      • george

        iOS would be nothing if it were not for android and the jailbreak community.

      • Rowan09

        Android wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for IOS.

      • So let me get this right. Back when Apple launched the iPhone and it became a revolutionary device that ushered in the age of modern smartphones it was actually nothing at all and really quite garbage because Android hadn’t been invented yet and jailbreakers weren’t around yet. I guess it’s initial success was due to blind dumb luck until we were given true light by those that came after huh?

      • John

        How cute. Another anonymous troll.

      • rockdude094

        iOS did have an early lead and greatly influenced change in the industry, but you gotta understand the properties of Japanese and south Korean companies. They take an already existing idea and one ups the competition just how they are doing in the automotive industry. I personally like competition, they force them to make better products for the end users. Now if you wanna argue about who copied who, then Nokia and motorola should get all the credit since they came out with the first cellphones in the first place

      • Oh I’m all for competition. It forces companies to innovate, drives down prices for customers, and gives everyone options. I also have no problem with being inspired to do something by someone else. Looking at the dump phones of the past and seeing the iPhone launch was a perfect example of this. But there is a difference between shamelessly stealing another person’s or companies ideas and claiming them as your own, taking patented concepts and using them without licensing, etc.

      • John

        Apple should be bankrupt because they ripped off iPhone features.

        You’re a dick.

  • 5723alex .

    What about those Galaxy Active, S7, Edge going up in flames ?

  • besrate hogsa

    Eat that Samsung

  • That home security video looks kind of sketchy…? As in, the lady was able to hold the object in her hand for quite a long amount of time despite the fact that it was very clearly igniting and releasing a lot of smoke and it doesn’t look like she was wearing gloves or anything.

    Oh well. Whether or not the footage is authentic, it doesn’t change the fact that a significant number of these devices have caught fire and put the safety of their users at risk. While Samsung took a hit to their reputation, the real victims are their customers who are now endangered (and some have been hospitalised) because Samsung rushed a product to market in an attempt to prove a point to their competitor. That fatal step of putting market competition above consumer wellbeing has cost them the entire Note 7 brand.

    • Yeah I noticed that too. I’d have thought it would be too hot to hold but maybe that’s only true of some incidents? I suppose it could have been in a case like an otter box or something that could have made it cooler. Still I wouldn’t want to hold it.

      Oh and I feel like I should point out, this didn’t happen because Samsung rushed to market. That’s a lie from Samsung, as they only moved launch date up by 10 days and manufacturing and assembling millions of devices takes so long, the phone would have been long done at that point. The only difference 10 days makes is the amount of stock they have for initial sales.

    • Jim B

      2016 and we still have black and white video?? come on…

      • Don’t know if it’s color or not as even color security cameras switch to black and white when the lighting is poor enough.

        But black and white security cameras are still fairly popular because they are cheaper, need less light to produce bright images, and in many cases are capable of higher resolutions.

      • Rowan09

        It looks like it’s in night vision.

  • Jamessmooth

    I feel like this should have happened sooner.

  • John

    While it’s not the Australian government, several Australian airlines have also come out this week and made statements banning passengers from boarding if they have a Note 7.

  • Benedict

    It would be bad if it was the S7. But who buys a Note ?? Would be the same from sales numbers (or less) like the iPhone SE goes up in flames…