Concerns about lithium-ion batteries continue to mount due to roughly 35 recent incidents caused by faulty batteries, including one overheated smartphone that destroyed a Jeep in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal government's consumer products watchdog organization, issued a warning yesterday to Samsung Galaxy Note 7 users. The commission asked consumers to stop using the phones due to the risk of explosions and fire, going so far as to announce that users should “power them down and stop charging or using the device.” The CPSC warning followed a voluntary recall issued by Samsung last week and an announcement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that asked airline passengers with these devices to refrain from using or charging them in flight and to avoid packing them in their checked luggage.
Earlier today Forbes reported that the South Korean manufacturer is even encouraging users to exchange their devices, for safety sake. “Our number one priority is the safety of our customers. We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note7s and exchange them as soon as possible,” says DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.
Rechargeable lithium batteries overheat more than any other type of batteries and tend to have manufacturing defects. They are also very poorly regulated. The low weight batteries house substantial energy and fit into smaller devices, but have been causing fire safety issues in smart phones, tablets, hoverboards and other emerging tech devices that are popular with the buying public.