Samsung, safety regulators officially recall about 1 million Galaxy Note 7 phones

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission officially recalled the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in a Thursday announcement.

The recall will include about 1 million of the premium mobile phones because of serious fire hazard, an official said.

“I am urging all consumers to take advantage of this recall right away,” a CPSC official said at a press conference.

The announcement follows last week’s Consumer Product Safety Commission warnings that users should stop using the devices and turn them off because of the threat of a battery fire.

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters originally reported plans to recall the phone.

The CPSC said in a statement last week it was working with Samsung to announce an official recall of the devices. Samsung has already announced a replacement program where users can exchange their current Note 7 device for a new one, pending CPSC approval.

Consumers can also exchange a current Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge and replacement of any Note 7-specific accessories with a refund of the price difference. Participants in the exchange program can also get a $25 gift card or bill credit.

But after Samsung said it would recall the 2.5 million units of the premium smartphone two weeks ago, critics have argued the recall has been “anything but smooth,” and “dogged with conflicting information,” lacking a clear message.

In the United States, the CPSC requires companies to notify it of defects and to coordinate public notification of recalls, The New York Timesreported. But Samsung issued the news release about the replacement program itself, without waiting to coordinate with the commission, theTimes reported.

The reports of exploding batteries on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 are “the biggest nightmare that anybody can think of in terms of phones,” Sree Sreenivasan, New York City’s new chief digital officer, told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Monday.

“I can’t think of a worse situation,” Sreenivasan said. “And I think what the company has to do is be upfront about it and be very clear about how it will fix the problem, what happened and how it will work. Because they were hoping this was the best phone that’s ever been released, and in fact, it’s going to go down as one of the worst…. It’s going to be very scary for Samsung.”

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