Cell Phone Battery Recall Issued for Refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Due To Overheating Risk

A recall has been issued for more than 10,000 refurbished lithium ion cellphone batteries designed for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, following reports of batteries overheating, which may pose burn and fire hazards for consumers. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the cell phone battery recall on August 16, after determining batteries supplied in refurbished AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 4 cellphones may have defects that would allow them to overheat and potentially catch on fire.

The recall involves lithium ion batteries supplied for refurbished AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 4 cellphones, that were used as replacement through AT&T’s insurance program. According to the recall notice, FedEx and Samsung discovered the batteries are counterfeit and may contain anomalies that could cause them to overheat, catch on fire and result in property damage or burns to consumers.

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The lithium ion batteries supplied for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are non-OEM, which means these particular batteries were not supplied as original equipment by the phone’s manufacturing company, Samsung.

Roughly 10,200 lithium-ion batteries are included in the recall, which were distributed by FedEx Supply Chain Logistics & Electronics, Inc. of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. Customers who have received a refurbished phone may identify if their battery is included in the recall if the battery is marked with a green dot.

The refurbished phones were distributed by FedEx chain as replacement phones only through AT&T’s Insurance program from December 2016 and April 2017.

Roughly a year ago, on September 15, 2016, the CPSC recalled nearly 2.5 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 lithium ion cell phone batteries, after receiving at least 127 reports of problems where the batteries overheated or caught on fire. The Samsung phone battery problems resulted in at least 26 burn injuries, and 55 reports of property damage to homes and vehicles, resulting in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) placing a ban from the devices being brought onto airplanes.

Although most lithium ion battery products work well without overheating risks, if one of the internal processes fails, the results can be explosive. The overwhelming majority of adverse events have shown lithium ion battery problems have been linked to a faulty manufacturing process, where the batteries are made without a high degree of quality control.

Lithium ion battery explosions can occur because of short circuits, or when the materials inside the battery ignite due to a chemical process called thermal runaway. These events usually occur due to damage to the battery, recharging the battery too fast, using after-market chargers, improper disposal, high heat, or placing the device in a pocket with other metal items.

Customers in possession of the recalled lithium ion batteries are being asked to power them down immediately. FedEx Supply Chain has begun mailing new replacement batteries and a postage paid box to return the recalled batteries. Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall may contact FedEx Supply Chain at 800-338-0163 or visit them online at www.exchangemybattery.com for additional information.

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