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Galaxy Note 7 smartphones recalled due to fire risk

Smartphone technology advances at an increasingly fast rate, and many people in Illinois eagerly anticipate the release of the newest smartphones on the market. However, sometimes the rush to get a product out on store shelves leads to mistakes in the design or manufacturing process, making the product dangerous to put in the hands of consumers.

For example, the newly released Galaxy Note 7 smartphone has been officially recalled by its maker Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, due to its propensity for its battery exploding when charging, causing fires and injuries. In fact, 97 percent of these phones contain the type of lithium-ion batteries that can explode, U.S. officials report. So far, 92 incidents of the batteries becoming overheated have been reported to Samsung. Twenty-six people reported being burned by the defective smartphones. Due to the recall, Galaxy Note 7 owners can either opt for a refund or exchange their devices for a new one. By issuing a formal recall, the U.S. government can make it so that these devices cannot be legally sold or used on airplanes.

The recall may have been some time in the making. Samsung initially delayed shipments of the product when explosions were reported in South Korea. A week later, Samsung announced that it would voluntarily recall the smartphones, but did not let the U.S. government know about its decision prior to going public with it, which a CPSC official claimed was confusing for consumers. Moreover, when Samsung informally recalled the smartphones, owners were advised to turn off their phones and exchange them for new ones. However, once the CPSC became involved, it had to approve all steps of the recall process, including the timeline available for exchanges.

In the end, it is important that these smartphones are taken off the market before any more consumers are injured. Unfortunately, even with official government recalls, people can still be injured by defective consumer products. They may have been injured prior to the recall, or they may not have received notice of the recall prior to becoming injured. In situations like these, it is important to assess whether you need to take legal action against the manufacturer of the defective product, in order to recover compensation for your losses.

Source: The Washington Post, "Consumer Product Safety Commission issues recall for Galaxy Note 7 because of fire risk," Hayley Tsukayama, Sep. 15, 2016

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