Well, it's now official: following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandate, more than just being advised against, it is now flat out illegal to use Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 onboard U.S. flights.
The FAA first took a stance against the Galaxy Note 7 on Sept. 8, when it advised passengers not "to turn on or charge the devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage" because of reports of the phone catching fire and causing various degrees of damage. However, it wasn't until Friday, Sept. 16, that the agency made a definitive stance against the phone, deeming it too unsafe to be taken on flights.
"Passengers may not turn on or charge the devices when they carry them on board a plane," the FAA said in a statement. "Passengers must also protect the devices from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks, and must not pack them in checked luggage."
In addition, the FAA has urged airlines to ensure that cargo and passenger processing employees, as well as those responsible for cabin safety, are aware of the new mandate, and make sure that passengers are aware of them as well. Furthermore, it noted that the new mandate doesn't prohibit specific airlines from placing their own additional bans on specific devices.
This announcement comes a day after the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) formally approved Samsung's decision to recall Note 7 phones, which, of course, was prompted by the past 92 reports of overheating Note 7 batteries in the United States, 55 of which resulted in property damage.
"Consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15, 2016," the recommendation reads. "Contact the wireless carrier, retail outlet, or Samsung.com where you purchased your device to receive free of charge a new Galaxy Note 7 with a different battery, a refund or a new replacement device."
The formal recall covers about 1 million devices, but based on previous reports, it has a long way to go. Thus far, only 130,000 of the 1 million recalled Note 7 devices in the United States have been exchanged.
Despite that, with this latest development, it looks like Samsung will be able to settle this whole debacle in the near future. Replacement units are expected to arrive in stores by Sept. 21, and Samsung is in the midst of an investigation to determine what caused the phones to catch fire in the first place.