A leading product liability lawyer has welcomed the decision by Samsung to suspend sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after it found that batteries in some of them exploded while they were charging, but warned manufacturers must do more before products go on sale.
Samsung today announced that customers who had already bought Note 7s, which was only released two weeks ago, will be able to swap them for new smartphones, regardless of when they purchased them.
Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung's mobile business, said the company's had found that a battery made by one of its two battery suppliers caused the phone to catch fire.
Jill Paterson from the Consumer Law and Product Safety group at Leigh Day said that the company had done the right thing to move so quickly and decisively to protect its customers.
However, she did suggest that companies should do more to ensure these issues do not arise. Ms Paterson said: “Samsung appears to have acted swiftly and decisively after discovering a possible safety issue that potentially affects a global audience.
Other manufacturers should take note in these current times where product related fires are reported on an almost daily basis. "That being said, manufacturers need to be getting it right first time round to ensure that only safe products are supplied to the market.
"This recall is not a one-off when it comes to electrical products that use lithium batteries and consumers need to know whether there is a more fundamental safety issue in play with products of this sort.
“During charging, most people leave their phones unattended and an exploding battery could have a devastating effect.”
Samsung confirmed 35 cases in South Korea and overseas, of the phone battery exploding. It has sold more than a million Note 7 smartphones since the August 19 launch.