Farmington Teenager: Replacement for Recalled Samsung Phone Melted in Hand

October 09, 2016 09:36 AM

A teenager in Farmington says her replacement Samsung smartphone melted in her hand, raising more questions about a massive worldwide recall that was supposed to address fire hazards and safety concerns.

Thirteen-year-old Abby Zuis says she felt a “weird, burning sensation” in her thumb while holding her Galaxy Note 7 Friday afternoon. The phone, which has significant smoke damage and burn marks, melted the protective cover.


Zuis says she suffered only a minor burn to her thumb. “It felt like pins and needles except a lot more intense,” she said.

Andrew Zuis, Abby’s father, says the phone is a replacement for the Galaxy Note 7 that was recalled last month.

He provided 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS with receipts showing they originally purchased the Galaxy Note 7 in August and then exchanged it on September 21 after Samsung announced it was recalling 2.5-million Note 7 phones because of problems with batteries overheating and catching fire.

“We thought we were safe with the new phone,” Zuis said.

In a statement released to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, a Samsung spokesperson said "We want to reassure our customers that we take every report seriously and we are engaged with the Zuis family to ensure we are doing everything we can for them and their daughter.” The spokesperson confirmed the matter is under investigation.

It’s the second investigation of a replacement phone launched by the company this week. A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight to Baltimore reported his Note 7 replacement caught fire on Wednesday.

 "I noticed smoke just pouring out of my pocket, pulled the phone out of my pocket, threw it onto the ground where it continued to smoke," Brian Green said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is conducting its own “priority” investigation into that issue, and confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it is now working to examine Zuis’ phone as well.

The teenager, who was waiting to pick up her siblings from North Trail Elementary when the phone started smoking, says she dropped it immediately. “I’m glad it was in my hand and not my pocket,” Zuis said, adding that a school principal then kicked the phone out of the building.

A district spokesperson confirmed the incident took place in an email, saying “We are happy that our staff was able to provide assistance and that the outcome was not more serious.”

Andrew Zuis says the replacement phones should be now recalled as well.

“If the new phones that are supposed to be the replacement aren't doing what it's supposed to, there's no reason my daughter or someone to be injured by their phone,” he said.


Joe Augustine

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