Two Galaxy Note7s Have Now Caught Fire In Australia

Two Galaxy Note7s Have Now Caught Fire In Australia

Following one Aussie customer reporting their Galaxy Note7 catching fire on social media, Samsung has confirmed that it has received two reports from local users of their devices being damaged by defective battery cells.

Customers are being now advised of the recall through push notification to their Note7 smartphones as well as traditional methods through the phone’s retailers and telco operators, with Samsung taking every step possible to make owners aware of the situation.

AU Editor’s Note: An important thing to note with the Note7 battery recall is that phones are not exploding. As with all lithium-ion battery incidents involving a short circuit between anode and cathode — like Samsung’s situation — the cell heats up at a microscopic level.

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If the short circuit is significant enough, heat can cause the battery’s insulation to fail and for the short circuit to reach a point called ‘thermal runaway’. While devices can catch fire from the heat, it is not an explosion; the battery industry uses the term ‘rapid disassembly’, but ‘venting with flame’ is the most appropriate explanation for the process that takes place. — Cam

A Samsung spokesperson provided this statement to Gizmodo: “Samsung Electronics Australia can verify two Galaxy Note7 smartphones in Australia have suffered from the reported battery cell issue. This includes an incident in Perth, WA, that was reported by a customer from Victoria.”

It’s not yet clear whether the phones affected within Australia were sold by Australian carriers, retail stores or through Samsung directly. Each of the four stock-keeping units (SKUs) sold in Australia are unique to the local market, including carrier variants for Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and an unbranded ‘open’ model.

Samsung has today used the push notification feature of the Samsung app pre-installed on all Galaxy Note7 phones to contact customers and make them aware of the situation. While there have been 51,060 Note7s already sold in Australia since Friday 19 August, the phone’s $1349 price and unique feature-set means customers are more likely to be tech-savvy early adopters.

The ACCC has now listed the recall on its Product Safety Australia website. Samsung is keeping its website updated with the new information, changing the entry in the “reported incidents” section to reflect the two local battery fire issues that it is aware of. [Samsung]