A Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the subject of a worldwide recall launched by Samsung due to incidents of exploding batteries, is said to be the cause of a Jeep going up in flames.
Nathan Dornacher from St. Petersburg, Florida said that he left his Galaxy Note 7 charging in the center console of his family's Jeep Grand Cherokee while he and his wife unloaded their things from the vehicle into their home. However, when he got back outside, he said that he found the Jeep engulfed in flames.
"Not the barbecue I wanted on my day off," wrote Dornacher on his Facebook post chronicling the incident, which unfortunately happened on Labor Day.
Firefighters were able to quickly respond to put out the flames, but the damage had already been done. The vehicle was declared a total loss by St. Petersburg Fire Rescue public information officer Lt. Steve Lawrence, though fortunately, there were no injuries reported.
Dornacher said that he never thought that a smartphone would be able to do such damage, which was assumed to be another incident of an exploding battery for the Galaxy Note 7. Surprisingly, Dornacher said that he did not know about the recall that was announced by Samsung for the smartphone.
Dornacher's lack of knowledge is a part of the criticism that was launched by Consumer Reports against Samsung's handling of the worldwide recall for the Galaxy Note 7. While most consumers might see Samsung being very efficient and transparent in handling the matter, Consumer Reports said that the product recall is not official in the United States as the company did not involve the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
If the CPSC was involved to make the recall an official one, the government would have had the authority to make selling Galaxy Note 7 units illegal. It might have also given the recall more publicity so that users such as Dornacher would have known about the fire hazards that the smartphone potentially carries.
A spokeswoman for Samsung has confirmed that the company is aware of the destroyed Jeep, and that while investigating the case, the company would do everything it can for its owner. Dornacher confirmed that Samsung will be sending an investigator to their home, and has been very helpful, but perhaps the company has already forever lost at least one customer.
"I don't think I'm going to let another Samsung product in my house," said Dornacher, a statement that Samsung could be hearing from millions of users after this ongoing fiasco of Galaxy Note 7 units catching fire.