US Bans All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones From Airplanes

A South Korean man checks his Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone at a telecommunications shop in Seoul on September 19, 2016. JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

Effective Saturday Oct. 15 at noon ET, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones are banned from all air transportation in the United States, the U.S. Department of Transportation says.

In a statement released on Friday, the DOT along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced an emergency order to ban the phones would on all flights after repeated reports of the phones exploding or catching fire.

“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.”

Incidents of the phones catching fire or exploding have been reported frequently over the past several months. The phones were originally recalled on Sept. 15, and customers were urged to get replacement phones from their mobile carriers. After reports that the replacement phones were also problematic, another recall was issued on Oct. 13. On Oct. 11, Samsung suspended the production and sale of the phones altogether.

“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 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “I would like to remind consumers once again to take advantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund.  It’s the right thing to do and the safest thing to do.”

The US DOT announcement notes the following:

  • If passengers attempt to travel by air with their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, they will be denied boarding.
  • Passengers who attempt to evade the ban by packing their phone in checked luggage are increasing the risk of a catastrophic incident.  Anyone violating the ban may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines.
  • Passengers currently traveling with Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones should contact Samsung or their wireless carrier immediately to obtain information about how to return their phones and arrange for a refund or a replacement phone.   
  • If a flight crew member identifies that a passenger is in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device while the aircraft is in flight, the crew member must instruct the passenger to power off the device, not use or charge the device while aboard the aircraft, protect the device from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks, and keep the device on their person and not in the overhead compartment, seat back pocket, nor in any carry-on baggage, for the duration of the flight.

Read more at the US DOT.

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