…Despite no official launching, Samsung forced to recall exploding galaxy note 7 devices in Nigeria
Worried by the various media reports, over fears for customer safety after reports were lodged of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone device catching fire and exploding, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on September 18 warned Nigerians against using the device pending when Samsung’s West African subsidiary, Samsung Electronics West Africa, would provide information on the full status of its compliance to the global directive to recall.
CPC is a Federal Government parastatal with the mandate to amongst others ensure the elimination of “hazardous products from the market”.
CPC further said in the statement that it had also written a letter signed by its Director-General, Mrs Dupe Atoki, to Samsung Electronics West Africa directing it to provide details of its compliance with the global directive to recall within seven days.
However, CPC said its advice to Nigerians against using the device was only an interim measure to protect them pending when Samsung Electronics West Africa will provide information on the full status of its compliance to the global directive.
This is surely not the best of times for global technology giants, Samsung Electronics, as the company has been forced to recall its flagship Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over fears for customer safety after reports were lodged of the device “catching fire” and“exploding”.
The company said it had no choice than to recall the device after 35 cases were reported globally, stating that a quality assurance inspection found a “battery cell issue” with the device.
The reports first became popular in Samsung’s home country, South Korea and the United States, where the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said 92 cases of the battery overheating had been reported in the country, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage.
An American man, Jonathan Strobel, 28, who suffered a severe burn in his right leg after his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded in his trousers pocket, sued Samsungon September 16 seeking damages in excess of $15,000 (N4.8 million, at N320/$1).
Strobel, of Florida, said his left thumb was also burnt as he tried to remove the exploded phone from his trousers pocket as it burnt directly through his trousers and left deep second-degree burns.
He is seeking damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injuries.
On September 13, a car burnt to the ground on a highway also in Florida after a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded inside it, police authorities said.
Earlier, another American man, Ariel Gonzalez on August 29 uploaded a video on YouTube that showed a burnt Galaxy Note 7 with its rubber casing and screen badly damaged.
Gonzalez said in the video that the smartphone, which he bought two weeks prior, caught fire moments after he unplugged the official Samsung charger packed with it.
“I came home after work, put it to charge for a little bit before I had class, went to put it on my waist and it caught fire,” he said.
In a September 1 statement, Samsung said customers who already bought the phone would be able to exchange it for a new one, but conceded it was a difficulty identifying which of the 2.5 million units of the phone already sold were affected. In the US alone, no fewer than one million units of the device had been sold.
Samsung further said the phone had been launched in 10 countries with different companies supplying the batteries.
The phone was first launched on August 19.
President of Samsung’s mobile business, Koh Dong-jin was quoted by the BBC as saying, “the reason we made the decision (to recall) is because what is most important is customer safety”.
Although the phone is yet to be officially launched in Nigeria, the official launch having been postponed to October 2016, it is believed that many units of the devices have found its way into the country.
Mrs Atoki advised the company to…
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