You might have heard by now that Samsung has issued a voluntary recall of the Galaxy Note 7. It’s going to replace every single unit shipped to customers since the device was released on August 19. Samsung was quick to look into reports of the Galaxy Note 7’s battery exploding, it identified a battery cell issue and said that while it had only received 35 reports of the battery cell malfunctioning, it was issuing a voluntary recall anyway. Sales of the handset have now been suspended and some might say that the steps Samsung has taken are good enough, but federal officials in the United States are concerned with the way Samsung is handling the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
When a product is normally recalled in the United States because of safety issues the recall is handled in collaboration with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission which is a federal agency. Samsung has not teamed up with the CPSC and has launched its own global recall program instead which covers customers in the United States as well. An unnamed federal official tells Recode that working with the CPSC ensures proper consumer rights as they can then clearly understand the risks of continued use of a product that has been recalled aside from their rights. Galaxy Note 7 sales would then be declared illegal under such a recall. The US CPSC has not officially commented on this matter but the official said that the US government would prefer to see a more traditional recall announcement.
Consumer Reports – a consumer rights group – has also raised concerns about how the Galaxy Note 7 recall is being handled by Samsung. It has called on the company to work with the CPSC on this. It says that even though Samsung’s retail and carrier partners have stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7 it can still be purchased from third-party retailers and resellers. This poses a potential safety issue. It merits mentioning here that while Samsung has said that it’s going to replace all Galaxy Note 7 units that have been shipped it hasn’t said if it’s safe for consumers to continue using the Galaxy Note 7 before their unit is replaced.
However, Samsung is giving customers in the United States an option to immediately exchange the Galaxy Note 7 with a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge and get a refund for the price difference. Its partners are also offering full refunds for the device and promise to replace existing units for those who want to exchange for a new Galaxy Note 7 as soon as they receive inventory from Samsung. The company says that it’s going to provide replacement inventory as early as next week.
What’s your point of view on this? Do you think that Samsung is adequately handling the Galaxy Note 7 recall or should it take more steps to ensure consumer safety? Get a discussion going in the comments below.