The flaming train wreck that is the Galaxy Note 7 recall finally has its official stamp of approval from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and there’s now a hard date for when you can swap your phone for a new one: September 21.
The CPSC previously issued a brief statement saying it was working on an official recall — but that the delay shouldn’t stop users from powering down the affected phones immediately. CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye announced more details today, and said at a press conference that he is “urging all consumers to take advantage of this recall right away.”
The language of the recall notice is similarly forceful. “Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note7 devices,” it reads. Do not pass go, do not check Instagram. Ninety-two phones have already overheated, resulting in 26 burns and 55 reports of property damage — don’t increment those numbers by failing to heed this advice.
It’s been a protracted process, this recall: Samsung took action directly when reports of combusting phones began to bubble up, first in Korea and then elsewhere; it vacillated on the severity of the problem and eventually announced a full recall of the 2.5 million Note 7s already in the wild (about 1 million are in the U.S.).
Thing is, the CPSC is supposed to be involved in the process, ideally notified within a day of learning that there’s a problem with a product. Despite the U.S. being Samsung’s biggest single market, the company failed to follow the rules, announcing a device replacement program without the CPSC’s blessing.
It could be that Samsung was working out whether they could get away with simply replacing the batteries in the phones, or whether recalling the entire device was necessary. That would, after all, be much cheaper, and users could keep the phones they’d bought.
The full recall ended up being necessary, of course, and now owners of the devices at least have a date when they can get a new one, if they decide to give the phone — which, other than its habit of burning up now and then, is really quite nice — another shot.
Put your phone’s IMEI or serial number into the box at the official Samsung recall page to make sure you’re affected — ironically, after telling users to power down the phone immediately, the instructions suggest “going to “Apps > Settings > About Phone or General Management > Status > IMEI information or Serial number.” We’d recommend just checking the back of the phone.