Samsung is suspending sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after finding batteries of some of the gadgets exploded while they were charging.
The South Korean electronics giant said that it has discovered a battery cell issue in the Note 7, released two weeks ago in the U.S. and South Korea, and will replace consumers' recently-purchased products with another one.
"To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market," the company said in a statement sent to USA TODAY Friday. "However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7."
In Seoul, South Korea, Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile business said Friday that customers who already bought Note 7s will be able to swap them for new smartphones, regardless of the purchasing date. "For customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks," the company's statement said.
Samsung is working with its wireless carrier partners in the U.S. and announced the details of an exchange program on Friday.
“Samsung is taking a proactive approach to address customer needs around the Note7,” said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, in a news release. “We are encouraging customers to exchange their Note7 by taking advantage of our Product Exchange Program. The safety and satisfaction of our customers is Samsung’s top priority.”
The program offers two options:
1. Exchange current Galaxy Note 7 device with a new Galaxy Note 7 (as early as next week).
2. Exchange current Galaxy Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge and replacement of any Note 7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices.
Consumers will get a $25 gift card from select carrier retail outlets when selecting a a Galaxy S7 family device or the Galaxy Note 7 within the exchange program.
Note 7 owners can make exchanges at the store where they bought the phone or call 1-800-SAMSUNG.