Feds will help officially recall Samsung Galaxy Note 7

After reports of exploding batteries, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is officially stepping in to help recall Samsung's Galaxy Note 7.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read
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Watch this: Don't use Galaxy Note 7 on airplanes, warns FAA

The feds are stepping in.

Samsung has agreed to replace every single Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, after at least 35 reports that the phone's batteries could overheat and explode. But some argued the voluntary recall wasn't enough, since the phones were still on sale. Consumer Reports called for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to do more.

In a emailed statement Friday, the CPSC now says it's officially working with Samsung on a recall -- as well as evaluating whether a simple phone exchange is enough of a solution.

In a separate press release, Samsung confirmed that it's collaborating with the CPSC, and also says it's no longer selling or shipping phones affected by the issue.

"We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note 7s and exchange them now," said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America.

The CPSC's involvement may change the pace of Note 7 exchanges, though. Samsung now says new Note 7s will be issued to existing buyers "upon completion of the CPSC process," and neither Samsung nor the CPSC offered a specific timetable beyond "as soon as possible."

(It took 6 months for the CPSC to recall exploding hoverboards, to give you some context.)

However, participants can also opt to receive a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge and be refunded the difference in their purchase price, or borrow a Samsung J loaner phone while they wait for a new Note 7.

In the meanwhile, the CPSC says it's "urging all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device."

Separately, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning Thursday to airplane passengers, asking them not to turn on or charge a Galaxy Note 7 on planes.

If you have a Galaxy Note 7, you can find out more about the recall at Samsung's official site.

Update, 2:15 p.m. PT: Added Samsung statement.