FAA: Samsung Note 7s are Now Banned on U.S. Flights
After a month of reports of exploding, smoking, or burning cellphones, the Samsung galaxy Note 7 will now be banned on all U.S. flights, starting Saturday. The Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Transportation released a statement on Friday afternoon saying the new rules will take effect on Saturday. This is sure to be inconvenient for passengers with already scheduled flights who rely on Samsung. But after almost 100 cases of overheating and fires, it’s better to be on the safe side.
“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.
Starting Saturday, passengers won’t be allowed to bring their Note 7s aboard an airplane even if they are shut off. Trying to do so may lead to confiscation of the phone and fines for the passenger. If anyone would be foolish enough to try and pack the phone in the checked luggage to get around it, they would risk creating an accident and could face criminal charges. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now considered a forbidden hazardous material under federal law.
— #Q13FOX (@Q13FOX) October 14, 2016
This news comes after two separate recalls of the Note 7 phones, the first one on September 15 and the second one on Thursday, which included the replacement phones that people could exchange their original ones for. The problem with the first edition was that the lithium ion battery cells were packed so tightly into a pouch that they barely fit inside the phone, leading to pinching of the batteries. This could easily break the thin plastic that separates the positive and negative sides of the battery, which could lead to a short circuit. This in its turn would heat up the flammable liquid inside enough to make the battery explode, and the replacements had similar issues.
The whole affair is estimated to cost the company $5.3 billion in lost profits. At least 13 people have reported being burned by their phones, there have been 96 reports of overheated batteries, and there are 47 registered cases of property damage. On October 5, a smoking phone led to the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight. Luckily that plane was still by the gate and no one was hurt. And with the new FAA rules, there will hopefully be no issues with fires caused by phones on airplanes.