Samsung 'pauses' Note 7 production over reports of phones smoking

7:03 am on 11 October 2016

Samsung 'pauses' Note 7 production after smoke reports

Reports that replacement Samsung 7 phones have been emitting smoke has led to a halt in production of the devices, international media say.

A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is displayed at a store in Hong Kong on Sept 10, 2016.

A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is displayed at a store in Hong Kong on 10 September, 2016. Photo: AFP

Samsung has temporarily halted production after talks with safety regulators, news agencies have reported.

Samsung told the BBC it was "adjusting the production schedule to ensure quality and safety matters".

The company has been forced to issue new models of the smartphone following complaints of faulty batteries.

It issued a global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in September. New Zealand Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners were advised to contact the place where they purchased their phone for a replacement device.

Samsung later assured customers that the fixed devices were safe.

But there have now been several reports of replacement phones starting to emit smoke.

'No longer exchanging'

In a further blow, two US mobile networks have stopped replacing or selling the phone.

The AT&T and T-Mobile networks said they would no longer replace the devices in the US, while the latter said it would halt all sales of the phone.

"While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices," T-Mobile said on its website.

Meanwhile, AT&T said: "We're no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents."

It advised customers to exchange them for other devices.

Manufacturing error

Samsung said in a statement last month that the issue of overheating was caused by a "rare" manufacturing error that resulted in the battery's "anode-to-cathode [negative and positive electrodes]" coming into contact.

But last week, a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a replacement Note 7 started emitting smoke in the cabin. And a man in Kentucky reportedly woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7.

In an update on Monday, Samsung said it understood the concerns of carriers and consumers about the newly released replacement Note 7 devices.

"We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible," Samsung said.

"If we conclude a product safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) to take immediate steps to address the situation."

Shares in Samsung Electronics closed down 1.5 percent in Seoul.

-BBC / RNZ

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs