Samsung could face a second recall of its Galaxy Note 7 if the device that caught fire on-broad a Southwest Airlines recently, is a replacement unit. On 2 September, the company had halted sales and announced a recall of Note 7 globally as reports said that the device was catching fire and exploding while charging.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are currently investigating the latest incident. A Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville to Baltimore had to be evacuated just before take off as a Note 7 exploded in the aircraft. Its owner confirmed that he had picked up the new unit from an AT&T store on 21 September.
"If it's the fixed phone and it started to smoke in his pocket, I'm going to guess there'll be another recall. That just doesn't sound right," Pamela Gilbert, who served as executive director of US CPSC and a partner in Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, told Bloomberg.
Gilbert said the safety commission could decide on their action as early as next week and added, "This is not something you want to leave hanging out there."
Former acting chairperson of the US safety commission Nancy Nord said that a second recall does not happen very often. "Certainly they could do another recall, if it appears this is something beyond an aberration," Nord said.
"They need to determine if this was a remediated phone, and if so why did this happen?"
The owner of the Note 7 that started smoking in the aircraft told to investigators that the device was a replacement unit, Captain Kevin Fletcher of the Louisville Metro Arson Squad said. Fletcher added that Samsung, FAA and CPSC authorities were working with arson investigators in Louisville to determine the cause of the fire. The arson squad is also planning to conduct laboratory tests on phone.
"Due to the damage to the phone itself, we have not been able to physically confirm that yet. We're in the process of trying to attempt that," Fletcher said.
Samsung, in its response, said it could not retrieve the device and could not confirm whether the incident involved a new Note 7. It said it will share information only after examining the device.
Although the safety agency possesses the legal authority to order another recall, it will require court action, which could take months.