Samsung Asks Galaxy Note 7 Owners to Stop Using the Phones

The company is also halting sales of the Galaxy Note 7 amid reports that replacement devices are catching fire

Samsung is asking people who own any Galaxy Note 7 phone, either the original or the replacement device sold after the original was recalled, to power down the device and stop using it, according to a statement from the company Monday evening.

The company said it is investigating recent reports that newly released versions offered as replacements for recalled fire-prone phones have also overheated or caught fire.

Samsung's crisis with its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone had already deepened on Monday as the company confirmed that it has made production changes, following the reports. Monday evening, it said it would ask all carrier and retail partners around the world to stop selling the device.

In the earlier statement and in a regulatory filing, Samsung Electronics said it was "temporarily" adjusting the Galaxy Note 7 production schedule and production volume to "ensure quality and safety matters." The company added that it will issue an update when more details are available.

Samsung has not confirmed or denying earlier media reports that it had halted production.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency was first to report that Note 7 production was suspended.

Before the reports of production suspension emerged, U.S. phone retailers AT&T and T-Mobile had already opted to stop giving new Note 7 replacement smartphones to consumers.

Samsung and U.S. authorities are investigating reports of the new Note 7 replacement smartphone catching fire, including a Samsung phone that emitted smoke and forced a Southwest Airlines flight in Kentucky to evacuate passengers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the incident.

The production change suggests fresh trouble for Samsung as it awaits U.S. authorities' investigation into the replacement phones. It had promised that its new Note 7 devices with a green battery icon were safe.

The reports of replacement phones catching fire raise doubts over whether the battery is the only problem in the fire-prone smartphone as Samsung initially said. When it issued a global recall on Sept. 2, Samsung blamed the batteries supplied by one of its two battery suppliers and assured consumers that other parts of the smartphones were fine.

For the latest consumer guidance on the Galaxy Note 7, click here.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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