U.S. Department Of Transportation And FAA Ban All Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones From Planes

While it's of little consequence to Samsung at this point, Galaxy Note 7 phones will no longer be allowed on airplanes in the United States. The outright ban goes into effect today at noon ET and covers all Galaxy Note 7 handsets, including replacement devices that were originally thought to be immune from overheating and catching fire. It turns out that they weren't.

The U.S. Department of Transportation met with officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to issue what they're calling an "emergency order." Anyone who owns or possesses a Galaxy Note 7 is not allowed to bring it on a flight going to or coming from the U.S.. That includes carry-on and checked baggage.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

"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. "We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk."

Indeed, there's already been an incident involving a replacement Galaxy Note 7 on an airplane. Southwest Airlines had to evacuate passengers from a grounded flight because a customer with an affected handset felt it overheat in his pocket. He pulled the phone out and dropped it on the floor, at which point it began billowing smoke. No injuries were reported, but that incident likely played into the decision to ban all Galaxy Note 7 phones from flights going forward.

Airplane

"The fire hazard with the original Note 7 and with the replacement Note 7 is simply too great for anyone to risk it and not respond to this official recall," said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. "I would like to remind consumers once again to take advantage of the remedies offered, including a full refund. It’s the right thing to do and the safest thing to do."

Following multiple reports of replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices overheating and catching fire, Samsung decided to end production altogether and either refund customers their money or exchange it for a different phone. Even so, there will inevitably be some users who decide to keep their Galaxy Note 7 despite the risk of it exploding. The DoT said that anyone violating the ban on flights may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to fines, as the Galaxy Note 7 is now officially considered a forbidden hazardous material.

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