Samsung Galaxy Note7 banned from U.S. flights
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have banned all Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones from airline flights, including air cargo.
The Note7 ban is effective on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
The FAA had previously urged all Note7 owners to keep their phones powered off during flights. The new order bans them entirely, suggesting they could combust even when left powered down.
A Samsung spokesperson sent Mashable the following statement:
Samsung, together with carriers, is working to communicate the U.S. Department of Transportations new order to ban all Galaxy Note7 devices in carry-on and checked baggage on flights. We have encouraged airlines to issue similar communications directly to their passengers. Any Galaxy Note7 owner should visit their carrier and retail store to participate in the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program now. We realize this is an inconvenience but your safety has to remain our top priority.
We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority, said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk.
The DOT warns travelers that their Note7 phones may be confiscated and they may be fined if they are caught trying to bring them on flights. Furthermore, “Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.”
Passengers are forbidden from stowing Note7 phones in carry-on and checked luggage.
Airline staff who catch anyone with a Note7 trying to board a flight are required to deny them boarding until they give up their Note7 in an orderly manner. Passengers caught with Note7s during flights will also have to comply with handing them over to airplane personnel.
The ban comes just days after Samsung announced it would halt Note7 production and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a second recall for all replacement Galaxy Note7 phones that started to explode.
Samsung has been baffled by the cause of the Note7’s explosions. At first it was believed to be a battery defect. But even after switching to a different battery supplier, replacement phones started catching on fire, as well.
Reports now suggest the design of the Note7 could be crushing the batteries and causing them to become volatile and prone to exploding. Samsung is believed to have rushed the Note7’s production in order to beat Apple’s iPhone 7.
The ban on Note7 phones will no doubt force some owners, like Mashable Entertainment Editor Josh Dickey, who have refused to return their phones and get a refund despite Samsung, wireless carriers and the CPSC urging them to.
The fire hazard with the original Note7 and with the replacement Note7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall, said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. I would like to remind consumers once again to takeadvantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund. Its the right thingto do and the safest thing to do.