Technology giant Samsung has urged anyone with one of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones to stop using the device with immediate effect.
The tech company has stopped production and said it is carrying out an investigation over ‘safety’ concerns after numerous reports of the smartphones’ batteries exploding.
Incidents have been posted online of fire-damaged devices and some airlines have banned their use on flights owing to fears they may explode mid-air.
The company has now issued a worldwide regulatory filing for people to stop using the 2.5m devices, which are valued in the UK at £749, and for retailers to cease selling them.
A company spokesman said: “For the benefit of consumers’ safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 and have consequently decided to stop production.”
Last Wednesday a flight was grounded in the US after one of the devices belonging to a passenger overheated and began ‘popping and smoking’.
No one was injured but the incident caused enough smoke to force the evacuation of the plane and the flight from Louisville to Baltimore was cancelled.
Three airlines had banned the devices from their flights in September and a product recall was initiated by Samsung. The incident on the Southwest Airlines flight last week reportedly involved a new phone issued since that recall.
The potential loss for the company is as yet uncalculated but with the unit cost of the devices it could easily exceed £1bn, excluding any additional costs for creditors under contract agreements with consumers.
The company said: “We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.
“We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”