This recall is a lot different than last year’s Note 7 fiasco. While that one affected every single phone and happened because of a design flaw, this one is far more limited and doesn’t even seem to be Samsung’s fault.
Only phones refurbished through AT&T’s insurance program and handled by FedEx Supply Chain are impacted by the recall. Some of the refurbished phones apparently ended up with “counterfeit” batteries that include anomalies that could make them overheat.
Fortunately, the Note 4 has a replaceable battery, so this recall isn’t as big of a deal. Owners can just buy a new battery to use in their phone until the recall is taken care of. FedEx is currently sending out replacement batteries as well as boxes for returning the recalled phones.
In a statement, Samsung placed the blame for the recall on FedEx. A spokesperson also disputed this article’s use of the phrasing “Galaxy Note 4 batteries,” since they were not made by Samsung.
“FedEx Supply Chain is conducting this recall of non-genuine Samsung batteries as some of them are counterfeit,” the spokesperson said. “The refurbishment program was managed by FedEx Supply Chain and operated independently of Samsung. Any affected owners should contact FedEx Supply Chain at 1-800-338-0163 or go online at www.exchangemybattery.com for more information.”
Though the Note 4 is a three-year-old phone, the affected units were sent out pretty recently. All of them were distributed between December 2016 and April 2017.
So far, there’s only been one report of a phone overheating and no damage to people or property because of it.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission says that anyone with one of these phones should stop using the battery immediately.
Update August 16th, 3:02PM ET: This story has been updated to include a statement from Samsung.