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article imageExplosive batteries prompt Samsung Note 7 recall in Canada, U.S.

By Lucky Malicay     Sep 3, 2016 in Technology
Samsung has suspended sales of its new premium flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in Canada, the United States, South Korea and seven other countries following reports that some of their batteries caught fire or exploded.
In response to the battery cell issues, the South Korean company established what it calls a product exchange program for Galaxy Note7 owners in Canada and the U.S.
Samsung Canada said in a statement that Note 7 owners can get in touch with its customer service on how to get a replacement, adding it has already identified the affected inventory and suspended sales of those devices.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible,” Samsung Canada said.
“We will share additional information on the Canadian Replacement program in the coming days. In the meantime, Canadian Customers may call 1-800-SAMSUNG for additional information.
In the U.S., the smartphone giant has launched a thorough investigation into the battery cell issues, saying it is working with its carrier partners regarding the details of its U.S. Product Exchange Program.
Under the program, current Note 7 owners can have their units replaced with new Galaxy Note7 devices, which are available next week. Another option is for them to return their current Galaxy Note7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge and “replacement of any Note7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices.”
“Samsung is taking a proactive approach to address customer needs around the Note7,” said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, in a statement.
“We are encouraging customers to exchange their Note7 by taking advantage of our Product Exchange Program. The safety and satisfaction of our customers is Samsung’s top priority.”
At least 35 cases relating to battery issues have been reported worldwide since last month's release of the Note 7, priced at $850 in the U.S. and $882 in South Korea.
One case, according to a report from the Associated Press, involved a 34-year-old South Korean high school teacher who sustained bruises after her Note 7 smartphone, which she pre-ordered and then activated on the official launch date in South Korea, burst into flames while she was in her bedroom. The woman, a resident in the port city of Busan, said she is fearful about buying a new device after the incident.
Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, said there are 2.5 million Note 7 units already sold worldwide and that it has no way of knowing exactly which phones have defects. It is estimated that one in 42,000 units may have defective 3,500 mAh battery.
"We have received several reports of battery explosions on the Note 7 that was officially launched on August 19... and it has been confirmed that it was a battery cell problem," Koh Dong-Jin, the head of Samsung's mobile business, told reporters in Seoul.
"We are deeply sorry for causing concern... and causing inconvenience among our users."
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