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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones Are Banned From Planes in US

More than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones have been recalled due to unexplained overheating problems, including 1.9 million in the U.S.

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    A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is held up as other Note 7 phones sit on a counter after they were returned to a Best Buy on September 15, 2016 in Orem, Utah.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are being banned from all air transportation in the United States effective Saturday at noon ET, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday.

    The phones, which are prone to overheat and catch fire, are no longer allowed on planes that travel to, from or within the U.S., even in carry-on or checked baggage, according to a statement released by the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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    Phones that passengers try to take onto planes may be confiscated, and the passengers may face fines, or stiffer punishment for anyone caught trying to evade the ban by packing a Galaxy Note 7 in checked luggage. Passengers seen with the phone prior to boarding a plane may be prevented from boarding.

    "We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk."

    Samsung Electronics has already announced it is discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7 after the initial phone was recalled due to a fire hazard, followed by a recall of the replacement phones. Learn more about how to get a refund or replacement phone at Samsung's recall website.

    The company said earlier Friday that discontinuing the smartphone will cost it about $3 billion in the current and coming quarters. Samsung added that it will make significant changes in its quality assurance processes to improve product safety. It did not elaborate.

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    More than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were recalled due to the unexplained overheating problems before Samsung gave up the product earlier this week, just two months after its launch in August.

    In the United States, 1.9 million Note 7 phones are subject to the two recalls. 

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there were 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the country, including 23 new reports since the first recall announcement last month. The company received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with the phones.