Samsung is facing another huge scandal with its Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 last month after 92 incidents of the device overheating were reported in the US. The company took a couple weeks to deliver replacement units to customers, carriers, and stores - and it made sure to brand all those replacements with various markings, which you can read about here, so that consumers would know the new units are safe. But it now seems like the replacements aren't safe after all.
Southwest Airlines flight 944 from Louisville to Baltimore was evacuated on 5 October. Arson investigators have confirmed that the evacuation occurred due to a Galaxy Note 7 that overheated during boarding, leading to smoke in the cabin, according to WHAS-TV. The incident happened around 9:15 am. Brian Green, the phone's owner, has already told media outlets the phone was a replacement.
Sarah Green, his wife, also told The Courier-Journal of Louisville how her husband described the incident: he said his replacement phone "made a popping noise and started smoking" and powered down. At that point, Brian threw it on the floor of the plane. According to The Verge, when Brian dropped it, he said a "thick grey-green angry smoke" poured out. The device burned through the carpet and seared the plane's subfloor.
Following the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's formal recall of one million faulty Galaxy Note 7 units in mid-September, the US Federal Aviation Administration banned use of the Galaxy Note 7 during flights. Although it's not yet clear if the FAA allows replacement Galaxy Note 7 units on flights, the incident that occurred early on Wednesday happened before the Southwest plane was airborne and nobody was hurt.
Brian confirmed his Galaxy Note 7 was a replacement unit by releasing a photograph of the phone's box, which showed the black square symbol that indicates a replacement Galaxy Note 7. Green said the phone had a green battery icon too, which also indicates a replacement device. Green said he picked up the new phone at an AT&T store on 21 September. The Louisville Fire Department’s arson unit now has it for investigation.
And Brian said he's already replaced it with an iPhone 7.
Update at 3:40pm PT: Samsung has released a statement to the media, saying it cannot confirm the incident involves the new Galaxy Note 7 until it is able to retrieve the device, and that it is working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause.