Although it has already pulled the plug on its infamous Note 7 series of the devices, the ghosts continue to haunt Samsung. In an event that has the potential to cause further bad publicity for the South Korean company, the Department Of Transport has banned all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from airplanes. The department has passed an emergency order to the effect.
The order was issued by the DoT in association with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). It effectively bars a passenger in possession of a Galaxy Note 7 device from getting abroad any plane in, to or from the US. Not only are passengers barred from transporting the device on their person, or inside their baggage — it can not be sent in form of air cargo either.
The Note 7 has also been classified as a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations and Samsung has been issued with a special, commercial permit to transport these devices. So yeah, they are basically being treated as explosive that could go kaboom, virtually anywhere. And judging by the number of incidents that have already been reported, I cant help but agree.
Speaking on the topic, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said,
We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority. We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk
And going by the past trend of Note 7 explosions, they actually do have the potential to go berserk and cause fires in the most unexpected situations — and not only when they are being charged. Indeed, there has already been at least one confirmed case of a Note 7 device burning a hole in the carpet of a Southwest flight.
Meanwhile, Samsung is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to get consumers to pack their Note 7 in special, custom made containers and ship them back to the company. The company is also offering them various benefits, including $100 off, if they decide to turn in their Note 7 and opt for another of the South Korean company’ smartphones.
Putting forward his views on the matter, CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said,
The fire hazard with the original Note7 and with the replacement Note7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall. I would like to remind consumers once again to take advantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund. It’s the right thing to do and the safest thing to do.
Travelers who attempt to evade the ban by packing in the device within their luggage will be inviting criminal prosecution. So yes, if you are in the US and have a Note 7 in your possession, we strongly recommend you to send it back to Samsung and avoid having one on you while boarding a flight.
Well, this really is one of those instances when a smartphone has gone out of its way to cause trouble. The damage to its reputation aside, Samsung is also likely to be at the receiving end of a severe financial fallout. We will know more about that once the company releases its earning report later in the year.
Meanwhile, stay safe, stay away from clowns and Note 7s.