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Another Galaxy Note has its batteries recalled, but this time it isn’t Samsung’s fault


Faulty batteries in the Note 7 resulted in explosions and a big blow to Samsung’s reputation.

Josh Miller/CNET

On Wednesday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall on certain Galaxy Note 4 batteries. These batteries have a tendency to overheat, according to the CPSC, which poses risk of burns and fire hazards.

It doesn’t take much to see the parallels between this and last year’s Galaxy Note 7 recall. Last year there were several reports of Note 7 devices bursting into flames leading to two separate product recalls. The culprit: faulty batteries.

Since then, Samsung has vowed to make safer batteries and has even instilled an eight-point battery check. This is crucial because Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 7 successor, the Galaxy Note 8, on August 23.

Our first question is how this could have happened just now, when the Galaxy Note 4 is a three-year-old phone? Well, it’s actually not Samsung’s fault. The affected batteries were found in refurbished Note 4’s that were distributed by FedEx Supply Chain as replacement phones for an AT&T insurance program. 

A Samsung spokesperson told CNET that the program was managed independently of Samsung and that the affected batteries are not genuine Samsung products. Some of these batteries were determined to be counterfeit, which may account for the dangerous anomalies leading to overheating.

Although the original Note 4 is from 2014, the affected batteries were distributed December 2016 through April 2017.

AT&T and FedEx did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The good news is that this recall is relatively small. The CPSC estimates that about 10,200 batteries are affected by the recall, which is much smaller than the 3 million recalled Note 7 devices. Another big difference between the recalls is that the Note 4 features a removable battery, making it much easier to deal with than the internal Note 7 battery.

If you received a replacement Note 4 from the AT&T insurance program or suspect you are using an affected device, turn off your phone immediately. FedEx Supply Chain will give affected customers a safe replacement battery and a box to send in the recalled ones. For more information visit the recall’s website or call FedEx Supply Chain at 800-338-0163 during business hours.

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