A replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire this morning in Virginia, the fourth known case in the United States in less than a week. Shawn Minter got in touch with The Verge after his Note 7 caught fire on his nightstand at 5:45AM. That phone was a replacement he received after returning his recalled Note 7 at a Sprint store in Richmond, Virginia, on September 23rd.
"My Galaxy Note 7 replacement phone just burst into flames while on the night stand," Minter said in an email to The Verge. "It filled my bedroom with a smoke. The same as the Kentucky man. I woke up in complete panic." Minter sent us copies of his receipts and photographs of the box showing the dates of the exchange and the serial numbers, confirming that he had a replacement phone.
His story, and the pictures, are similar to the others we’ve seen this week, including one that caught fire on Tuesday in Kentucky, one that caught fire on a Southwest Airlines flight, and a third on Friday that caught fire in the hands of a 13-year-old girl.
Samsung has been aware that replacement phones were catching fire at least since early this week, when one sent a Kentucky man to the hospital, yet it has not yet issued a recall of the replacement phones nor even said that customers should stop using them. We now have four purportedly "safe" phones in the US that have caught fire and reports of more overseas. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it is "moving expeditiously" to investigate the fires.
Bewilderingly, Minter said that representatives at the Sprint store even offered him another replacement Note 7. He decided to take a Samsung Galaxy S 7 instead.
I must reiterate what I said in a story last night about another replacement phone that caught fire. If you own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 you should stop using it immediately and return it for a refund — all the major US carriers will exchange the phone, regardless of purchase date. Samsung has handled the entire recall extraordinarily poorly, and continues to do so by not being more forthcoming about what’s going on with these replacement devices. Until we get more information, the simplest explanation is the best one: the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a fundamentally defective product and it should be pulled from the market without delay.
We have reached out to Samsung for comment.