Still using your Galaxy Note 7? Best you keep it switched off if you’re flying anytime soon.
Following recent reports of Samsung’s new flagship device suddenly bursting into flames, the U.S. agency responsible for safety in the skies said Thursday it “strongly advises” Note 7 owners to power down the phablet during flights, and to avoid packing it in checked baggage.
“In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage,” the agency said in a statement posted online.
Following reports of at least 35 incidents of the recently released smartphone spontaneously combusting – an issue Samsung says has been caused by “a very rare manufacturing process error” leading to the battery overheating – the Korean company last week issued a global recall of the handset. It’s offering to replace everyone’s Note 7 free of charge, but until the FAA is satisfied all the affected devices are out of circulation, its warning is likely to stay firmly in place.
At the time of writing, no U.S. airline has moved to ban the device from being taken on planes, action which many carriers took during the hoverboard battery scare almost a year ago.
It’s a troubling start for the Note 7, one that Samsung says could cost it up to $1 billion, as well as untold damage to its reputation. Having received overwhelmingly positive reviews when it launched in August, it reportedly sold some 2.5 million units in just a couple of weeks. But as reports started to surface of the device suddenly catching fire, the Seoul-based tech giant felt compelled to act, and issued a recall.