Samsung scraps Galaxy Note 7 amid fire concerns

Samsung Electronics has scrapped its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in what could become one of the most expensive product safety failures in history.

Samsung had announced the recall of 2.5 million Note 7s in early September after reports of phones catching fire.

Reuters reported that the decision to scrap the Note 7 entirely came after fresh reports of fires in replacement devices, prompting new warnings from regulators, phone carriers and airlines.

A permanent termination of Note 7 sales could cost Samsung up to $17 billion, analysts said, and could harm the reputation of some of its other products.

Almost $20 billion was wiped off Samsung Electronics’ stock market value on Tuesday as its shares closed down around 8%.

“(We) have decided to halt production and sales of the Galaxy Note 7 in order to consider our consumers’ safety first and foremost,” the South Korean company said in a filing to the Seoul stock exchange.

“We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note 7,” said the company earlier on Tuesday.

“Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.

“We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation.

“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”