Another Samsung Galaxy Note 7 up in smoke as users ignore recalls

Overheating batteries from a manufacturing flaw have been blamed for dozens of incidents, and Samsung is now exchanging the phones. But most people seem content with theirs despite the risks.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Expertise Solar, solar storage, space, science, climate change, deregulated energy, DIY solar panels, DIY off-grid life projects, and CNET's "Living off the Grid" series Credentials
  • Finalist for the Nesta Tipping Point prize and a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eric Mack
2 min read

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 continues to be a source of unwanted heat and concern.

Samsung recalled the phone almost two weeks ago and the US government has also officially warned consumers to stop using it, but new data shows consumers haven't put the explosive phones down yet. An exploding Note 7 was blamed for a car fire in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Tuesday night.

"The driver of the car was unharmed and made statements to the police that he had been charging his Samsung 7 phone when it burst into flames," the Port St. Lucie Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Sharon Cain, the eyewitness who recorded the above video of the blaze later posted to Facebook: "A car caught fire from a charg(ing) Note Galaxy 7 on Crosstown (in) Port St. Lucie. I was told (that) the gentleman was charging his phone when he heard a loud pop (and then) the phone blew up," according to local news station WPBF.

This latest case of a Note 7 flaming out in spectacular style comes as data from app metrics firm Apteligent finds people don't seem to have stopped using their recalled Samsung phones, despite reports of fires and burns connected to an apparent manufacturing flaw that has led to some overheating batteries.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported car fire in Florida and the Note 7 usage data.

Apteligent's data shows that while adoption of the Galaxy Note 7 hasn't increased much since the first reports of exploding batteries and the ensuing recall, it hasn't really gone down either, meaning people are continuing to use the recalled phones rather than return and exchange them.

Samsung is currently exchanging the Note 7 for Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge phones or loaning users a Samsung J Series phone until a new, fixed Note 7 has been approved.