Were you one of the 2.5 million consumers who bought a Samsung Note 7? If so, you probably already know that the sale of these devices has been suspended, and consumers who have already purchased this device are affected by a voluntary worldwide safety recall.
What you might not know if you are still carrying one of these devices is that they have recently been banned from use or transport via air travel in the United States and other countries.
THE SAMSUNG NOTE 7 IS NOT ALLOWED ON U.S. AIRPLANES
Because of recent issues with the Samsung Note 7’s defective battery, U.S. authorities issued a statement warning airline passengers not to turn on or charge these devices while flying. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advised passengers not to pack the device in any luggage.
Airline customers who are still using recalled Note 7 devices should also be aware that they are banned from more than just U.S. flights. In Australia, Qantas also now prohibits passengers from charging the Samsung Note 7 on its planes.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation, which is the United Nations agency that creates and reviews aviation safety policies, already has previous policies in place that prohibit lithium batteries identified by the manufacturer as defective aboard all aircraft, according to a spokesperson.
REASONS BEHIND THE BAN AND RECALL
After numerous incidents that suggest that the Samsung Note 7’s battery has the potential to explode or catch fire spontaneously in the hands of its users, Samsung was forced to issue a voluntary recall of the millions of Note 7 devices that had already been sold.
In a hotel room in Perth, Australia, a charging Note 7 caught fire beside its sleeping owner, causing $1800 AUD worth of damage and igniting the sheets of the bed the man was sleeping in.
Aside from minor burns, the man was not injured. Samsung promptly replaced his cell phone, and has promised to pay for the damages to the hotel room. Still, the ability of a defective device to catch fire while charging can open the door for many dangerous scenarios.
This incident took place after other units have caught fire while charging.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE AFFECTED BY THE RECALL
Though Samsung’s recall is voluntary, consumers using the Note 7 are strongly encouraged to contact the cellular carrier, visit Samsung.com, or return them to the store where they were bought for a replacement Note 7 device at no cost.
Only devices sold before September 15, 2016 are affected.
Current owners of the recalled devices can choose to continue to use them, but are at risk of battery combustion. Soon, a software update on the old devices will cause them to display a safety notice when powering on or off.
If you choose not to replace the device, please be aware of regulations and policies that limit the transport or possession of these devices or any defective lithium ion battery in places where they could cause substantial damage, such as airplanes.