Consumer electronics experts are trained to evaluate and report on allegations of product defects. They are knowledgeable regarding technological failure due to problems with electronic design or an error in the manufacturing process. In the news, Samsung has been ordered by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall 1.9M Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because battery problems caused some units to catch fire. The phone was first released in August 2016 and recalled in September. Now some of the new devices sent as replacements are having the same explosion problems. At this time, the defect appears to be batteries with a tendency to overheat and catch fire. As of September 15, 2016, Samsung has received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage. Samsung has suspended production of this product.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission October 13, 2016 Recall
Name of product: Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones
Hazard: The lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Note7 smartphones can overheat and catch fire, posing serious fire and burn hazard to consumers.
Units: About 1.9 million (This includes the 1 million Galaxy Note7s recalled on September 15, 2016)
Description: This recall involves all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones. The recalled devices have a 5.7 inch screen and were sold in the following colors: black onyx, blue coral, gold platinum and silver titanium with a matching stylus. Samsung is printed on the top front of the phone and Galaxy Note7 is printed on the back of the phone. This recall involves all Galaxy Note7 devices received as replacements as part of the previous Galaxy Note7 recall on September 15, 2016 and any Galaxy Note 7 with a green battery icon, regardless of date purchased or IMEI.
Incidents/Injuries: Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries in Note7 phones overheating in the U.S., including 23 new reports since the September 15 recall announcement. Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Note7 phones.
One incident involved a man who inhaled smoke when his replacement phone caught fire even though it was not plugged in. When this type of injury results in litigation, consumer electronics experts provide an unbiased evaluation regarding a possible product defect. They are uniquely qualified to analyze the evidence and report on whether an electronic device failed because of its design or an error in the manufacturing process.